Microbiome and Metabolome
Along with the genomic data gleaned from the sequencing complete human genomes, HLI will also be generating microbiome data for many of these individuals through its Biome Health division, under the leadership of Karen Nelson, Ph.D.
Nelson, who is also President of the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI), and her team led the first human microbiome study on the human gut which was published in the journal Science in 2006. Nelson and her team have gone on to publish numerous scientific papers on the microbiome. JCVI is also one of three large centers funded by the National Institutes of Health as part of its Human Microbiome Project (HMP) and has several federally funded projects focused on the human microbiome and disease underway.
There are 100 times more cells from bacteria, fungi, and viruses, in and on your body than there are human cells.
The microbiome consists of all of the microbes that live in and on the human body that contribute to the health and disease status of an individual. By better understanding a person’s microbiome (gut, oral, skin, lung, and other body sites), the company anticipates developing improved probiotics, advanced diagnostics and therapeutic approaches to improve health and wellness.
Along with the microbiome data, HLI will capture and analyze metabolomic data from various cohorts. The metabolome includes the complete set of metabolites in a human genome. HLI has also signed an agreement with Metabolon Inc., a diagnostic products and services company located in Research Triangle Park, NC offering the biochemical profiling platform that will be used to capture this information from the HLI samples. Metabolomics is important because quantifying and understanding the full picture of circulating chemicals in the body can help researchers get a clearer picture of that individual’s health status and map changes in the small molecules to end points of disease and gene mutations.