Linking the Microbiome to Host Phenotype and Genotype
Professor Dan Knights
University of Minnesota
Wednesday May 14, 4:30PM Olin 321
Perhaps the grandest bioinformatics challenge of the genomics era is to place genes into functional disease pathways using data sets of limited sample size. Human genome studies have identified associations between genetics and disease, but in a surprising number of diseases, including
cancer, autoimmune diseases, autism, HIV, malnutrition, and obesity, our “second genome”–the mixture of genes in our resident microbes–has recently been implicated. In many of these diseases we still understand little about the mechanisms of host-microbe interactions. Host-associated microbiomes are highly complex and high-dimensional; furthermore, microbiome data sets are now often multi-omics, with many types collected for each sample. In this talk I will discuss my work in leveraging latent structures in host-microbe data sets to extract biologically meaningful
results. I will present several case studies from my work highlighting recent advances in associating microbiome structure and function with host phenotype and environmental factors. These advances will help lay the foundation for identifying mechanisms of shared host-microbe disease pathways.
Refreshments will be served.