The Microbiome Snapshot

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Article by: Shauna White

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health selects DNA Genotek’s OMNIgene devices for Microbiome Biobank


DNA Genotek Inc. is pleased to announce that the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health has selected DNA Genotek’s OMNIgene® family of microbiome collection devices to provide reliable self-collection of microbial samples for The Biobank for Microbiome Research in Massachusetts (BIOM-Mass). 

Human health is shaped not only by genetics and environmental factors, but also by the billions of microbes living in and on the body (the microbiome). Scientists are just beginning to understand the many ways in which microbiome can impact human health including cancers, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and GI disorders.

Created by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in collaboration with academic and industry partners, BIOM-Mass is an integrated platform to collect, use and analyze microbiome-based specimens.  BIOM-Mass intends to create the world’s most comprehensive human microbiome specimen biobank, using samples from more than 25,000 individuals from the Harvard-based Nurses’ Health Study II (NHSII) and other long running studies. The researchers will use OMNIgene devices to catalog the microbiome profile across multiple body sites from study participants, combining that data with individual lifestyle, health, and genetic information that has already been collected.

“The state of Massachusetts is a hub for microbiome-based research and development, and BIOM-Mass will expand academic and industry innovation in this field. I am excited about the partnerships that this facility will make possible, and the opportunities to advance public health,” said Wendy Garrett, Professor of Immunology and Infectious Disease, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

"We are very proud that the Harvard Chan School has selected our OMNIgene•GUT and OMNIgene•ORAL devices as well as microbiome services to incorporate microbiome data into BIOM-Mass, one of the world’s most highly regarded epidemiological studies”, said Aaron Del Duca, Vice President Technology & Microbiome Program Lead at DNA Genotek. “This rich resource will enable multiple research initiatives that could lead to the discovery of new predictive, preventive and therapeutic strategies for a broad range of diseases.”

“The Biobank for Microbiome Research in Massachusetts (BIOM-Mass) at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health will create a state-of-the-art facility and integrated platform allowing the Massachusetts life science community to collect, use, and analyze microbiome-targeted biospecimens in human populations,” said Curtis Huttenhower, Associate Professor of Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

If you'd like to conduct a study of your own using the same state-of-the-art methods BIOM-MASS does, request free OMNIgene trial kits here:

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