Host-Microbiome Interactions in Humans and Non-Human Primates
With the advent of next generation sequencing, it has become possible to examine the entire genome and transcriptome of humans and other animals with relative ease. These data have been used to validate previously discovered biological mechanisms as well as to discover new phenomena that are implicated in diseases, such as cancer. This technological advance has also opened up new research possibilities by allowing scientists to survey and quantify the microbiome, the collection of microorganisms that reside in and on the bodies of humans and other animals. Again, researchers have leveraged this new source of information to make breakthroughs in human disease that are caused by alterations in the microbiome. The Blekhman lab is currently working to assess the human genome/transcriptome together with information about the microbiomes of the same patients to ask in a systematic fashion how cancer patient genomes, tumor genomes, and the microbiome interact to result in disease onset and evolution. Additional projects in the lab involve analysis of the microbiome in non-human primates, such as baboons and gorillas, and how these are affected by diet, stress, and social interactions. Each of these research projects involve analyses of large genomic and metagenomic datasets using resources from MSI, including installed software, CPU time, storage space, and the parallel computing environment.
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