Presented by: Chengchen Li
The Microbiome Collection Core at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (HCMCC) aims to support population-scale microbiome studies with reliable, scalable, and flexible in-home fecal and oral specimen collections. Leveraging the intellectual and infrastructure foundation laid by the HMP2 (the 2nd phase of the NIH Human Microbiome Project) and the MLSC (Massachusetts Life Sciences Center)-funded MICRO-N (MICRObiome Among Nurses) collection, the HCMCC provides customizable fee-for-service implementations and processes of sample collection kits. Preservatives included in the kit stabilize major microbial communities at ambient temperature and various shipment options, and provide capabilities for amplicon, shotgun metagenomic and metatranscriptomic sequencing, stool metabolomic profiling, in addition to future culture and gnotobiotic animal model studies. Standardized questionnaires are included to capture proximal exposure, outcome, covariate, biometric, and technical information accompanying each sample collection, along with participant-friendly kit instructions. Together, the HCMCC’s generalized fecal and oral microbiome sample collection protocol enables researchers to conduct cost-effective microbiome study ranging from population-scale cohorts to pilot trials, ultimately, to expand our understanding of the microbiome to improve population health.
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