Mining HMP data promises to help researchers understand the role of the microbiota in health and disease and uncover new targets for drugs and vaccines. However, exploration of such large, complex datasets can be challenging for scientists who do not have the necessary computing infrastructure, analysis tools or technical expertise. To help researchers overcome these obstacles, the NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) assembled a team of experts from academia and industry to develop the MCP. NIH-funded scientist Owen White, Ph.D., and his colleagues at the University of Maryland School of Medicine led the first phase of the project.
The team currently is developing the next phase of the MCP, which will add more datasets, analysis tools and supporting documentation. By bringing together data and tools in the Cloud, this initiative promises to encourage greater scientific collaboration and inform NIH best practices for using Cloud technologies for biomedical research.
Maria Giovanni, Ph.D., Director, Office of Genomics and Advanced Technologies in the Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, NIAID; Yentram Huyen, Ph.D., Chief, Bioinformatics and Computational Biosciences Branch in the Office of Cyber Infrastructure and Computational Biology, NIAID; and Vivien Bonazzi, Ph.D., Programme Director, Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, NHGRI, are involved in the Microbiome Cloud Project.