Vision: The Consortium on Translational Research in the Microbiome (CTRM) is a community of practice focused on facilitating the implementation of microbiome research to enhance drug discovery and development.

By focusing upon harmonization of emerging enabling technologies, we provide a collaborative platform for knowledge sharing and consensus building.

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Who We Are: The CTRM was established in 2017 through mutual interests in the human microbiome and the professional connections of the Institute for Life Science Entrepreneurship at Kean University in New Jersey, the Office of Research at the City University of New York and the Westchester Biotech Project.

Each individual on the committee, and the organizations they represent, appreciate the clinical potential of research on the human microbiome. And, each wants to work collaboratively in the development of enabling technologies and know-how, as a basis for the translation of scientific findings into effective medical breakthroughs.

Finally, all of us are dedicated to accelerating the discovery and development of new treatments to ensure better health and address unmet needs.

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Scott A. Jackson, Ph.D., Leader, Complex Microbial Systems Group, Biosystems and Biomaterials Division, NIST

In this current role, Scott is leading international efforts to improve microbiome and metagenomic measurements by organizing inter-lab studies, developing reference materials and reference methods, and developing in vitro tools that allow us to better understand microbial community resilience and evolution

Consortium on Translational Research in the Microbiome

CTRM Co-Chairs:

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Keith Bostian, Ph.D., CEO, Institute for Life Science Entrepreneurship
Dr. Bostian is an accomplished scholar, scientist and entrepreneur with a distinguished career in industry and academia. He holds 17 patents in drug discovery and genomics and has authored more than 60 publications. At Merck he led antimicrobial drug discovery as well as discovery of new leads from natural products for worldwide drug discovery programs.

He has held senior executive positions in numerous life science companies including Kemin Industries, as President and CEO of the European pharma subsidiary, and Vanta Bioscience. He is the founder of Microcide Pharmaceuticals, Iconix Pharmaceuticals, and Mpex Pharmaceuticals, and The Institute for Life Science Entrepeneurship.

The Institute for Life Science Entrepreneurship (ILSE) was developed to serve as a knowledge hub, designed to connect scientists in academia and industry, and promote translational research in the life sciences. Prior to its founding at Kean University, he held faculty positions at Brown University.

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Jessica Dunne, Ph.D., Director, Discovery Research, JDRF

Dr. Dunne is an experienced research director with a demonstrated history of working in the non-profit sector. She is a strong research professional skilled in translational medicine, molecular biology, biotechnology, and cell culture.

Recent Session:
Virtual Roundtable: Building Data Infrastructure for Microbiome Research
May 30
, 2019 • Recording PDF

Bringing together our Translating Data Science and CTRM Programs

In collaboration with the Institute for Life Science Entrepreneurship

Jessica Dunne, Ph.D., Director, Discovery Research, JDRF
Robert McLaughlin, Ph.D., Vice President for Research, ILSE

Discussant: Paul Savage, Healthcare MBA, Hagan School of Business, Iona College


Innovation is stunted if there is no framework that enables researchers to share and work on data in a structured, meaningful, and compatible way.

Whether with peers or a colleague across the globe, collaborative databases are essential for efficiently inputting, working on, and accessing shared data. The structures of these databases put aside concerns for data incompatibility while promoting a living and collaborative research environment, remotely.

We will hear about recent efforts by JDRF to complete their Microbiome Initiative Bioinformatics Center (JDRF-MIBC), a multi-institutional database supporting researchers, facilitating unhindered data access and compatibility between research groups. This center creates a common framework of computing infrastructure, software, and protocols to help translate
microbiome research into actionable type 1 diabetes (T1D) diagnostics and therapies.

The continued development of these types of data infrastructures will be key to accelerating innovation and fostering collaboration as the field of microbiome research becomes increasingly translational.

Topics Include:
Key benefits of common data frameworks for microbiome research — allowing meaningful remote collaboration.
- Using standardized data collection and analysis protocols, both in the wet lab and for data — facilitating cross-study comparisons.
- The difference between various rRNA databases used for taxonomy annotation — raising awareness of the impact database choice may have on data interpretation.
- The importance of the interface for accessing data — sharing is hindered if data is inaccessible or under-accessible.
- The availability of published and unpublished data (raw and analyzed, including associated meta-data) — accessible to the research community at the time of publication. 
- Consortia working together to leverage resources toward a common goal — which is when accelerated innovation happens.

Recent Sessions:

Virtual Roundtable: Reproducibility, CTRM
January 25
, 2019 • RecordingPDF

This ongoing Roundtable addresses data generation, collection, sequencing, analysis, and harmonizing systems to accelerate relevant, reproducible research. After briefs from our speakers, you’ll be invited to introduce yourself and your venue (institute or industry).
Welcome Aboard!

Salomon Amar, D.D.S., Ph.D., Vice President for Biomedical Research, NYMC
Tasha Santiago-Rodriguez, Ph.D., Microbiome Discovery Analyst, Diversigen
Jessica Dunne, Ph.D., Director, Discovery Research, JDRF
Dev Mittar, Ph.D., Lead Scientist, Microbiology R&D, ATCC

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Current challenges and opportunities in DNA extraction, reproducibility, and data analytics will be discussed.

This is your opportunity to discuss best practices and lessons learned with your peers.
Steering Committee members are listed below.

Questions? Contact: info@westchesterbiotechproject.org

“What we need is a transcendentional moment. How will emerging tools work together to accelerate reliable, reproducible data?”

Watch for upcoming sessions including a May 2019 online Roundtable combined with our Roundtable: Translating Data Science. Workshop session in-person are being planned for 2019-2020

Virtual Roundtable: Standardization, CTRM
October 16, 2018 • Recording
ATCC Update - Presentation PDF

Scott A. Jackson, Ph.D., Leader, Complex Microbial Systems Group, Biosystems and Biomaterials Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Dev Mittar, Ph.D., Lead Scientist, Microbiology R&D, American Type Culture Collection (ATCC)

Appreciation for the role of microbes in our lives has been growing rapidly, but the measurement science needed to understand and fully exploit microbial systems has developed at a much slower pace than the industries dependent on them demand. NIST is developing standards for microbiome measurements that will enable federal, academic, and industry labs to reliably reproduce and advance each other's results. Microbiome standards will support research investigations and commercial translation of microbiome science by providing measurement assurance tools: standardized protocols, reference materials, validated measurements and critically evaluated reference data.

Dev Mittar, Ph.D., Lead Scientist, Microbiology R&D, ATCC

At ATCC, Dr. Mittar has been instrumental in the development of controls and standards for various infectious microorganisms with applications in the area of molecular diagnostics and clinical, food, and pharmaceutical microbiology. He led the development of ATCC Microbiome standards with a goal to help microbiome researchers standardize their methods. Dr. Mittar received post-doctoral training at Weill Medical College of Cornell University and worked at BD Biosciences before joining ATCC.

Committee Co-Chairs:
       Keith Bostian, Ph.D., CEO, Institute for Life Science Entrepreneurship
Jessica Dunne, Ph.D., Director, Discovery Research, JDRF
Steering Committee:
Salomon Amar, D.D.S., Ph.D., Vice President for Biomedical Research, New York Medical College
       Joan Bennett, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences,
Rutgers University
       Raul Cano, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, The BioCollective, and Advisor,
Institute for Life Science Entrepreneurship
       Sonya Dougal, Ph.D., Director, Life Sciences Discussion Groups, The New York Academy of Sciences
Joanne Gere, Executive Director, Westchester Biotech Project
       Scott A. Jackson, Ph.D., Leader, Complex Microbial Systems Group,
Biosystems and Biomaterials Division, NIST
Christopher Kinzel, Program Coordinator, Westchester Biotech Project
       Sam Kongsamut, Ph.D., Executive Director, Institute for Life Science Entrepreneurship
       Bozena Michniak-Kohn, Ph.D., Director and Founder, Center for Dermal Research (CDR), Rutgers
       Dev Mittar, Ph.D., Lead Scientist, Microbiology R&D, ATCC
       Tasha Santiago-Rodriguez, Ph.D., Microbiome Discovery Analyst, Diversigen
Eric Vieira, Ph.D., Director of Strategic Collaborations, Columbia University Engineering
       Howard Young, Ph.D., Senior Investigator, Cancer and Inflammation Program, 
NIH, National Cancer Institute/CCR

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