Bethesda, MD, Jun. 23 â€“ Acting National Institutes of Health Director Raynard S. Kingston today announced grants to three centers and 15 research projects under the Human Microbiome Project. The five-year, $140-million effort launched in 2007.
“This effort will accelerate our understanding of how our bodies and microorganisms interact to influence health and disease,” said Kington in a
prepared statement. “Examining the differences between the microbiomes of healthy patients and those of patients suffering from a disease promises to change how we diagnose, treat and, ultimately, prevent many health conditions.”
The newly announced grants will support work at three centers, which will collaborate to sequence some 400
microbes of the human digestive tract, mouth, skin, nose, and vagina.
The centers are:
- Human Genome Sequencing Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX. (Richard Gibbs, PI; $3.7 million)
- Washington University Genome Sequencing Center, Saint Louis, MO. (George Weinstock, PI; $16.1 million)
- The J. Craig Venter Institute, Rockville, MD. (Robert L. Strausberg, PI; $8.8 million in 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act economic stimulus funds.)
The Broad Institute (MIT/ Harvard, Cambridge, MA) “is expected to participate in this phase of the project.”
Here are the individual pilot projects announced today, listed by organ
system and project title:
- Skin: Psoriasis ($560,000). Martin J. Blaser, M.D., New York University School of Medicine,
New York, NY.
- Vagina: Bacterial Vaginosis and Sexually Transmitted Diseases ($1 million).
Gregory A. Buck, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA.
- Male urethra: Puberty, Sexual Activity and Sexually Transmitted Diseases
J. Dennis Fortenberry, Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis, IN.
- Digestive tract, 2 grants: Obesity ($1 million) and Crohn’s Disease ($1 million).
Claire M. Fraser-Liggett, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore,
- Digestive tract: Crohn’s Disease
($980,000). Ellen Li, Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, MO.
- Skin: Acne
($990,000). Huiying Li, University of California, Los Angeles, CA.
- Mouth and digestive tract: Esophageal Adenocarcinoma ($1 million). Zhiheng Pei, New York University School of Medicine,
New York, NY.
- Vagina: Bacterial Vaginosis ($980,000).
Jacques Ravel, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD.
- Skin and nose: Atopic Dermatitis, Immunodeficiency Syndromes
($400,000). Julia Segre, National Human Genome Research Institute, Bethesda, MD.
- Nose, digestive tract and blood: Febrile Illness
Gregory A. Storch, Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, MO.
- Digestive tract: Necrotizing Enterocolitis ($1 million).
Phillip I. Tarr, Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, MO.
- Digestive tract: Pediatric Irritable Bowel Syndrome ($750,000).
James Versalovic, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX.
- Digestive tract, Crohn’s Disease
Gary D. Wu, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA.
- Digestive tract: Ulcerative Colitis
Vincent B. Young, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.
Though there are no funding opportunities currently listed for the Human
Microbiome Project, as new grants become available they will be posted at
Additional information on the project is available at