The Human Microbiome and Epidemiology: Challenges and Opportunities

The Human Microbiome and Epidemiology: Challenges and Opportunities

Workshop ChairsBetsy Foxman and Sandra Melnick Seitz
Additional Faculty: Johanna Lampe, Gregory Gloor, Anthony Fodor, Emily Vogtman

Background: The indigenous microflora of humans vary considerably; their functions, less so. Although the microflora have been assumed to be either pathogenic or commensal, accumulating data suggest that many associations are actually symbiotic. The true characterization of this relationship has been advanced by modern DNA-sequencing and integration of microbiome data into epidemiologic studies, in a manner similar to the incorporation of single nucleotide polymorphisms and epigenetic markers into etiologic cancer research. But the methods need refinement and clarification in order to elucidate the inter-relationships between the microbiome and human disease. Aims and Objectives: This workshop seeks to introduce the epidemiologic community to the challenges and opportunities for including the human microbiome in epidemiologic studies. Target Audiences: Epidemiologists, statisticians and infectious disease clinicians