The University of California (UC) Center for Pediatric Microbiome Research
Our mission is to understand microbial development in childhood and leverage this knowledge to promote pediatric health. We started a system-wide initiative across the University of California, coalescing an inter-disciplinary group of clinical and basic science investigators with expertise in pediatric gastroenterology, neurology, microbial metagenomics, metabolomics, immunology, ecology, genomics, bioinformatics and biostatistics. We have secured pilot funding from the University of California Biomedical Research Acceleration, Integration, & Development (UC BRAID) consortium, providing resources to support initial sample collection, microbiome analyses, shared databases and training.
Our ultimate aim is to develop a large, multi-center study that leverages the expertise, technology and infrastructure developed in this UC BRAID funded pilot initiative to explore microbial dynamics during pregnancy and over the first 1,000 days of life, when the microbiome changes most rapidly, as it relates to health outcomes in childhood. The ultimate goal of these studies is to understand the factors that influence microbiome dynamics and health outcomes in early life in a population that reflects the diversity of California and the US, to leverage this knowledge to develop preventative therapies, and to influence policy to promote healthy microbiome development across pediatric populations.
A focus on early life during microbiome assembly is ideal, when change is most rapid and the potential to elicit effective interventions to reduce disease risk is greatest.