Mission: 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. Click for Overview Document

Virtual Roundtable: Challenges in Harmonization for Enabling Technologies
Consortium on Translational Research in the Microbiome

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October 16, 2018

Speakers:
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)

Click for Overview Document

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.

ATCC has developed a portfolio of microbiome reference standards (set of mock microbial communities) from fully sequenced and characterized ATCC strains that were selected on the basis of phenotypic and genotypic attributes or their availability in clinical or natural environments. To further enhance the use of microbiome reference standards and eliminate the bias associated with data analysis, ATCC has developed a data analysis module in collaboration with One Codex. This module provides simple output in the form of true-positive, relative abundance, and false-negative scores for 16S rRNA community profiling and shotgun metagenomic sequencing.



About our Speakers:
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

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.


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Background: Over the past decade, the human microbiome as an avenue for new drug discovery and development has gained significant attention from academics, industry professionals, funding agencies and investors. However, much of the data to date has only provided correlative evidence of clinical applications, leaving many technical challenges and unknowns. 

To realize the potential of this growing body of evidence from the human microbiome, the Consortium on Translational Research in the Micobiome is working to address the factors limiting translation of these expanding, fascinating, results into novel diagnostics and effective therapeutics. 

The challenges of today‚Äôs wild wild west environment for enabling technologies resonate as a smart and important focus for our efforts. Through literature review and discussion with practitioners and suppliers, we have chosen to target challenges to the progress of enabling technologies. We are building a community of practice, focused upon accelerating the development of standards in translational microbiome research while respecting the complexities of harmonization. 

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

Committee Co-chairs:
       Keith Bostian, Ph.D., CEO - Institute for Life Science Entrepreneurship
       Eric Vieira, Ph.D., Director, Special Research Programs - City University of New York
       Joanne Gere, Executive Director - Westchester Biotech Project
Steering Committee:
Salomon Amar, D.D.S., Ph.D., Provost for Biomedical Research and Chief Biomedical Research Officer - 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
       Jessica Dunne, Ph.D., Director, Discovery Research - JDRF
       Scott A. Jackson, Ph.D., Leader, Complex Microbial Systems Group, Biosystems and Biomaterials Division - NIST
       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
       Howard Young, Ph.D., Senior Investigator, Cancer and Inflammation Program - NIH, National Cancer Institute/CCR
       Christopher Kinzel, Program Coordinator - Westchester Biotech Project

Click for Overview Document