(Update: This is probably at the NIST campus in MD… though it doesn’t actually say on their website)
NIST is hosting an interesting sounding workshop on “Standards for Microbiome Measurements“. The workshop will be held on April 4-5th 2016 (presumably on the NIST campus in Boulder, CO). Information about the workshop below:
This NIST-NIAID workshop will seek input on defining reference materials, reference data and reference methods for microbiome community measurements; including genomic, transcriptomic, and metabolomics measurements.
Over the past 10 years, advances in ‘omic technologies have resulted in a meteoric rise in our ability to understand the constituents and functions of complex microbial communities (microbiomes); and the profound effect that these microbiomes have on their hosts and the environment. However, the interlab comparability of measurements on microbiomes is generally poor. Biases exist along every step of the measurement process, from sample collection, extraction techniques, measurement technology employed (next-generation sequencing, mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance), and, finally, to data analysis and interpretation. There is a need for the adoption of reference materials, reference data, and reference protocols in order to identify and eliminate measurement bias.
This workshop will include talks from subject matter experts who measure microbiomes from diverse ecosystems (environmental, human, built, etc.). In addition, a series of break-out sessions will focus on defining the characteristics of these reference materials.
While the scope of this workshop will be applicable for anyone involved in microbiome-based research and development, there will be an emphasis placed on microbiome measurements for human clinical diagnostics, microbiome therapeutics, and the regulatory needs associated with microbiome therapeutics and diagnostics.