NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Scientists meeting in Heidelberg, Germany, today announced the formation of the International Human Microbiome Consortium — a team of researchers from around the world interested in unraveling the relationship between the microbes associated with the human body and human health and disease.
So far, participants in the consortium include representatives from Australia, Canada, China, the European Commission, France, Ireland, Japan, Korea, and the United States. Participants will contribute and share data generated through the project and make this data available to the research community at large.
The IHMC is also inviting other countries to participate in the effort to collect the genomes of all microbes in and on the human body. In a conference call with reporters today, IHMC representatives noted that other countries, including Mexico and India, have already expressed interest in the project.
Teams from participating countries will coordinate their efforts to avoid duplicating their genome sequencing efforts. Some of the projects, such as the US National Institutes of Health’s Human Microbiome Project, are already underway, while others have just formed and are in the process of securing funding.
Participating researchers also noted that they hope the international interest in the human microbiome projects being conducted within the consortium will spur increased funding for these efforts.