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The rise of whole genome microbial sequencing: A new era for human microbiome analysis

This webinar is brought to you by the Science/AAAS Custom Publishing Office

The rise of whole genome microbial sequencing: A new era for human microbiome analysis

Recorded 04 October 2017


Our knowledge of the role of the human microbiome in health and disease has been growing in recent years, but analysis of the microbiome—such as amplicon sequencing of the highly conserved 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene—has proved challenging. Thanks to the rapidly declining costs of next-generation sequencing, whole-genome microbial sequencing is now emerging as a viable alternative for disease research, providing a more detailed analysis of the species present in the microbiome. Together with our invited experts, we will explore how this shift is changing the way researchers are approaching microbiome analysis, and what the additional information obtained can tell us about how the health of the microbiome impacts human health and well-being.

During the webinar, the speakers will:

  • Describe methods to characterize a microbial community, including 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing and shotgun metagenomic sequencing
  • Compare and contrast 16S amplicon versus shotgun sequencing
  • Discuss approaches to microbiome population genetics and strain tracking through next-gen microbial sequencing
  • Answer your questions during the live broadcast!

This webinar will last for Approximately 60 minutes.

Speaker bios

Julie Segre, Ph.D.

National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD

Dr. Segre is a senior investigator at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), U.S. National Institutes of Health. She received her B.A. in mathematics from Amherst College, her Ph.D. in genetics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and postdoctoral training in skin biology at the University of Chicago. She has been an investigator at NHGRI since 2000, and received tenure in 2007. Dr. Segre’s research has helped define the normal human skin bacterial and fungal communities, enabling studies of alterations associated with pediatric atopic dermatitis and primary immunodeficiency. Her work has also focused on integrating whole-genome sequencing of hospital pathogens, both to study nosocomial transmission and to develop a national reference database. Her research integrates DNA sequence technology, algorithm development, and clinical studies to explore the diversity of microbes in and on humans in health and disease.

Katie Pollard, Ph.D.

Gladstone Institutes and UCSF
San Francisco, CA

Dr. Pollard is director and senior investigator at the Gladstone Institutes and a professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, the Institute for Human Genetics, and the Institute for Computational Health Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco. Previously, she was an assistant professor in the University of California, Davis Genome Center and the Department of Statistics. She earned her Ph.D. in biostatistics from the University of California, Berkeley and was a comparative genomics postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She was awarded the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship in 1995 and the Sloan Research Fellowship in 2008. She is a member of the California Academy of Sciences and a Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Investigator. The Pollard lab develops bioinformatics methods for comparative analysis of massive biological datasets, with a focus on genomics and other transformative technologies. The lab’s mission is to enable statistically rigorous, quantitative comparisons across species, developmental stages, and conditions. A major emphasis is creating open-source bioinformatics software. Dr. Pollard and her team developed industry-standard tools for gene-expression analysis, detection of evolutionary conservation and acceleration, and quantification of microbial gene abundance from metagenomes.

Sean Sanders, Ph.D.

Washington, DC

Dr. Sanders did his undergraduate training at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge, UK, supported by the Wellcome Trust. Following postdoctoral training at the National Institutes of Health and Georgetown University, Dr. Sanders joined TranXenoGen, a startup biotechnology company in Massachusetts working on avian transgenics. Pursuing his parallel passion for writing and editing, Dr. Sanders joined BioTechniques as an editor, before joining Science/AAAS in 2006. Currently Dr. Sanders is the Senior Editor for Custom Publishing for the journal Science and Program Director for Outreach.

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