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AGA Creates Center for Gut Microbiome Research

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The American Gastroenterological Association today said that it has created a new center to coordinate research and education efforts related to the gut microbiome.

The AGA Center for Gut Microbiome Research and Education has been formed by the association as a "virtual home" for its gut microbiome activities. It said that the mission of the center is to "advance research and education on the gut microbiome in human health and disease."

The AGA also has formed a scientific advisory board to make strategic and programmatic recommendations to the AGA Governing Board. The members come from a variety of research areas and also include regulatory and policy experts. Among the members are Gary Wu, a professor of medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania; Martin Blaser, a professor of microbiology and director of the Human Microbiome Program at the New York University Langone Medical Center; and Jeffrey Gordon, director of the Center for Genome Sciences & Systems Biology at Washington University in St. Louis.

"This is an incredibly exciting time in science, where technological advances in DNA sequencing, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics provide an unprecedented opportunity to explore not only the composition, but also the function of the microbial communities that live in our intestinal tract," Wu, who is serving as chair of the scientific advisory board, said in a statement. "It is hoped that the knowledge gained will provide new insights into disease pathogenesis and innovative therapeutic modalities."

The AGA said that it plans to fund the center's activities, but it will seek additional funds from private, non-profit, and governmental sources to help provide support.

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