(HOST-MICROBIAL ANALYTICS & REPOSITORY CORE) There is growing evidence for the importance of environmental factors, such as the microbiome, playing a critical role in the pathogenesis of many digestive, liver and pancreatic diseases. There is much interest in the characterization of the microbiome to identify potential biomarkers relevant for precision medicine as well as the modification of the human microbiome as a modality to prevent and/or treat diseases. To facilitate research focused on host-microbial interactions and their relevance to digestive, liver and pancreatic diseases, the Center for Molecular Studies in Digestive and Liver Diseases (CMSDLD) has developed a Host-Microbial Analytic and Repository Core (H-MARC) with the following two Specific Aims: 1) To provide critical analytic services the characterize analytes (i.e. genomics, transcriptomics, metabolomics) in both microbes and their mammalian hosts and 2) To provide expertise that will allow CMSDLD members to extend pre-clinical in vitro and animal model research into the human clinical domain.
In Specific Aim 1, to support the analysis of the mammalian host, H-MARC will provide access to high-end instruments designed to quantify gene expression at the mRNA and protein levels as well as access to FACS for the characterization of mammalian cell populations. Genomic analysis will be provided via Penn's Next Gen Sequencing Core. To support the analysis of the microbiota, H-MARC will support experiments involving microbial cultures as well as the analysis of metabolites via targeted metabolomics. Computational and biostatistical support to analyze microbiome datasets associated with clinical metadata will also be provided through full time biostatisticians in H-MARC who will interface with the PennCHOP Microbiome Program.
In Specific Aim 2, H-MARC will support human subject research by providing a robust Human Biospecimen Repository via a LabVantage-based LIMS system as well as the collection of robust annotated clinical data for IBD phenotyping via the EPIC EMR. Importantly, to facilitate human subject research translating preclinical research into the clinical domain, H-MARC will provide advice and expertise in the development of human intervention studies. Ultimately, H-MARC services are designed to facilitate integrated analyses of host-microbial interactions at the preclinical and clinical interface.
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