Under the research focus area – Healthy Ageing – Call for Proposals was sought from UQ researchers for big ideas to answer the ‘Microbiome in Health Challenge’ – understanding and utilising the complex interactions of microbial communities with their hosts, so as to improve human health. Specifically, we were seeking research initiatives from cohesive, UQ-led groups or consortia that represent a strategic response to specific challenges in global health, pharmaceutical innovation or health technology.
The human microbiome is critical for health and development. However, our understanding of human microbiota has been limited by our inability to grow most microorganisms in pure culture. Here we propose to build the microbiome equivalent of the human and mouse reference genomes, and utilise this to develop a low-cost high-throughput metagenomic pipeline to characterise the human microbiomes for specific habitats (gut, skin, and oral). This will form the basis for affordable and routine microbiome testing, replacing 16S amplicon profiling, and broadly enable genome-directed isolation for culture-based analyses and prophylactic treatments.
For more information about the project and collaborative opportunities, please contact Prof. Hugenholtz at firstname.lastname@example.org.