Periodic Reporting for period 1 - GRAHAM (Concepts of Graph Theory Applied to the Human Microbiome)
Reporting period: 2018-11-01 to 2020-10-31
The goals of this Fellowship are important for society because they aim to directly affect human health in the longterm. By better understanding how human microbial communities are implicated in various disease states, we gain the potential to better treat these diseases. For example, if we better understand that a specific set of strains is missing from a microbial community, we could think about longterm strategies to replenish these strains using probiotics, dietary intervention, or pharmaceuticals.
The overall objective is to better understand how the microbes that live on and in us interplay with the human body to drive disease, or as a consequence of various disorders.
Ongoing research includes expanding this software to identify gene-strain relationships within microbial communities, and applying these software to publicly-available datasets including one of 215 Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains (manuscript currently in review and available as a pre-print on bioRxiv: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.10.28.359307v1) and another of roughly 9,000 strains from all types of human-associated bacteria (manuscript in preparation).
These results were disseminated at 10 national/international conferences, 2 invited seminars at academic institutions, as well as to public and internal academic outreach events.
I have contributed to public outreach events throughout this Fellowship, including as a panel member at a local Festival of Science and Curiosity speaking as an expert on human microbiome research and answering questions on recent ""Science in the News"" stories. I have also particated in outreach events specifically focussed on current students and their interest in continuing their career in the field of bioinformatic research."