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Ed Yong speaking to audience

Planning for the future of microbiome research

Ed Yong, author of the New York Times bestseller on microbiomes I Contain Multitudes

This spring the College of Science together with OSU’s Office of Research is launching the OSU Microbiome Initiative (OMBI), led by Sharpton. OMBI is an ongoing education and research program comprising OSU researchers from diverse disciplines who work together towards four shared goals: to understand how microbiomes operate and interact with their environment; to develop collaborations and partnerships with other research institutions and industry; to provide training in microbiome research methods; and to incentivize participation by underrepresented researchers.

This spring and summer, OMBI is hosting the following programs, with additional funding from the College of Agricultural Sciences and the Department of Microbiology.

Training Workshop, May 11, 2017

OMBI is hosting a hands-on training workshop on microbiome research techniques. Participants will learn methods and concepts related to the generation and analysis of microbiome data. This free workshop will be held May 11, 2017, in CH2M Hill Alumni Center in the Willamette Room 115. This year’s event has already reached capacity.

Award-winning science author talks microbiomes, May 11, 2017

British science writer Ed Yong, author of the New York Times bestseller on microbiomes I Contain Multitudes, will give a public talk about microbiome science from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. followed by Q&A in the Horizon Ballroom at the Memorial Union. A reception to welcome Ed Yong will be held at 5:30 p.m.

Microbiome Research Forum, May 12, 2017

OSU investigators, researchers, and students are invited to participate in a strategic forum regarding the state and future of microbiome research from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the CH2M Hill Alumni Center, Cascade Ballroom. Participants will hear presentations from internationally renowned micro biome experts. Trainees are also encouraged to participate in a poster session following the forum. Students and postdocs can compete for cash prizes! A celebratory evening reception will cap off the day at The Arts Center, Corvallis in downtown Corvallis, at 700 SW Madison Ave. from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Space is limited. Register today!

Mixing art + science

During the OMBI launch, microbiome-related art will be on display as part of OSU’s part of SPARK: A Yearlong Celebration of Arts and Science, featuring science, artwork, poetry readings, and musical performances across campus. Working in synergy, Department of Microbiology Head and glass artist Jerri Bartholomew and SPARK, created a groundbreaking exhibit, “To See the Unseen.” Participants are encouraged to experience the exhibit, which opened April 13 and runs through May 27. It explores how microbiota influence life within ourselves and on our planet.

A summer of microbiome research

In collaboration with professors Duo Jiang, Yuan Jiang, Yanming Di and Lan Xue, Sharpton is hosting an research experience for undergraduates (REU) in OSU’s Statistics Department. This undergraduate research experience offers students the opportunity to analyze gut microbiome DNA sequences and to use statistical methods to infer how bacteria influence human health.

Students receive an $8,000 stipend as part of the REU, which includes expenses for travel and lodging. The 10-week research and training opportunity runs June 19 through August 25. The launch of the Summer 2017 program has been highly successful and has reached capacity.