Scientific Director & Co-founder Prof Mathilde Poyet was invited to present her research findings and to introduce the Global Microbiome Conservancy at the 3rd annual ISB virtual microbiome series

The vast majority of biomedical research is focused on affluent populations in highly developed countries, and the microbiome field is no exception.

We know that variation in the composition and function of the gut microbiome is intimately tied to diet, lifestyle, socioeconomic factors, environmental exposures, behavior, and health status. We also know that the ways in which the microbiome can mediate differential responses to environmental exposures and clinical interventions is dependent upon this variation. Statistical models trained on populations in the U.S. and Europe may not apply to populations in other parts of the world.

Furthermore, mechanistic models, like community-scale metabolic modeling, focus on functional outputs that may be more convergent across populations and do not require training data, but they rely upon limited strain-level diversity from diverse human cohorts in genome-scale metabolic model databases.

Thus, it is critical that we capture the full span of human and commensal microbial phenotypic diversity if we wish to equitably translate microbiome science into medical advances that benefit all of humanity. 

ISB is hosting a series of events in October of 2022 that leverage data sets from a more representative set of global populations and highlight leading microbiome researchers who work with underrepresented groups from around the planet.