If you’re a current or prospective student interested in the microbiome, the Center works with undergraduate, MS/SM, and PhD programs across the Harvard community, including Biological Sciences in Public Health, Population Health Sciences, Biostatistics, Systems, Synthetic, and Quantitative Biology, Immunology, Biological and Biomedical Sciences, and Bioinformatics and Integrative Genomics. Prospective students should contact your programs of interest.
For current students who would like to learn about microbiome science at Harvard, the Center offers an integrated introductory-through-advanced course sequence spanning the FAS, Harvard Chan School, and HMS campuses. These include:
Taught by Dr. Rachel Carmody, this course is appropriate for undergraduates or new graduate students seeking an introduction to microbiome science and particularly the human gut microbiome.
Taught by Drs. Wendy Garrett and Curtis Huttenhower, this course provides graduate students with an overview of microbiology, immunology, analysis techniques, and concepts for carrying out microbiome-focused research across human populations.
The Center also provides collaborative training opportunities throughout the year across multiple institutions locally and abroad.
- Harvard Catalyst Introduction to ‘Omics Research and Introduction to Network Medicine
These courses occur periodically in person and online and cover multiple ‘omics areas, including microbiome science. This spans appropriate applications and experimental challenges to understand the scope of research and methods in: genomics, epigenomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics. The course also aims to understand molecular techniques for investigating specific biological questions (disease etiology, diagnosis, and treatment), learn about the importance of experimental design in ‘omics research, and understand the challenges and limitations of big data analysis, including integration of data, batching, computational resources, and working with team members across all fields.
- Strategies and Techniques for Analyzing Microbial Population Structures (STAMPS)
This course is designed for established investigators, postdoctoral fellows and advanced graduate students from diverse biological fields. Topics to be covered include but are not limited to acquisition and organization of next generation sequence data; principles of quality control of sequence data and data management; methods of taxonomic assignment and clustering of targeted gene data; assembly, functional classification and characterization of shotgun metagenomic data; statistical models for estimating microbial diversity; and microbial community comparison methodology and metrics.
- Physalia Metagenomics, Metatranscriptomics, and Multi’omics for Microbial Community Studies
This course provides a thorough introduction to microbial community data analysis (metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, and other culture-independent molecular data) through a balanced approach of lectures and hands-on lab sessions. Course participants will learn how to process data from raw meta’omic sequencing files through appropriate bioinformatic methods and approaches for subsequent integrative statistical analyses. Participants are invited to bring their own data to the practical session on the final day or can use publicly available data from the Integrative Human Microbiome Project (HMP2).