UCI Microbiome Initiative
Director: Dr. Jennifer Martiny
Initiative Funding Period: July 2017 – June 2018
The Problem: The microorganism communities–microbiomes–in our soil, oceans, and bodies have a lot in common. But current microbiome research is not well coordinated among disciplines. The UCI Microbiome Initiative seeks to create cross-discipline collaboration to better understand microorganisms both in our bodies and the environment.
Microbiomes—complex, diverse communities of microorganisms—are essential to human and environmental health. These communities are everywhere: in our bodies, our soil, and our oceans. And we are only beginning to understand how much they have in common.
UCI is uniquely poised to become a world leader in microbiome research. While human and environmental microbiomes have traditionally been studied separately, UCI researchers have already begun to bridge the gap, opening up new possibilities for improving our health and the planet’s.
The UCI Microbiome Initiative will:
- Build collaborations across disciplines, identifying universal similarities between human and environmental microbe communities
- Train a new generation of microbiome scientists who can move fluidly between disciplines
- Foster community outreach
- Provide training and staff to help researchers adapt to new research technology
- Build an international reputation for cross-system microbiome science at UCI