Workshop 2: Math and the Microbiome
Matthew SullivanMicrobes are recently recognized as driving the energy and nutrient transformations that fuel Earthâ€™s ecosystems in soils, oceans and humans. Where studied, viruses appear to modulate these microbial impacts in ways ranging from mortality and nutrient recycling to complete metabolic reprogramming during infection. As environmental virology strives to get a handle on the global virosphere (the diversity of viruses in nature) clear challenges are emerging where collaboration with mathematicians will be powerfully enabling. I will present a few ripe research avenues where we (environmental virologists) could use some help from mathematicians, statisticians, theorists and modelers to better understand the nanoscale (viruses) and microscale (microbes) entities that drive Earthâ€™s ecosystems, and human health and disease.
Jason PapinAbstract not provided.
Katrine WhitesonPersistent and unique microbial communities impart the majority of genetic and metabolic diversity in humans, and their composition and activity are important indicators of health and disease. The Whiteson lab uses culture-independent metagenomics, metabolomics, and ecological statistics along with hypothesis driven, reductionist microbiology to answer questions about how bacteria and viruses affect human health. We and others find that the most important source of variance in both microbiome and metabolome data is the individual the sample was taken from, making longitudinal samples where a personâ€™s own sample can act as the baseline an important approach. Several recent research projects using metabolomics and sequencing will be presented from healthy humans and Cystic Fibrosis patients, with the hope of brainstorming analytical approaches to relate longitudinal microbiome and metabolomics data.