Recently the ABRF Metagenomics Research Group (MGRG) was represented at the recent White House meeting on the National Microbiome Initiative by three members of the MGRG; Samantha Joye from the University of Georgia, Nick Greenfield of One Codex, Rita Colwell of the University of Maryland.. While our involvement with the NMI is small, we are working especially hard to be recognized as a leader in advancing the science and techniques of metagenomics and microbiome analysis. Represented through discussion with Nick Greenfield of One Codex, one of the Extreme Microbiome Project (XMP) corporate partners, the ABRF MGRG, the XMP, and Chris Mason’s Metasub International consortium were highlighted as well recognized study groups. It should be noted that the MGRG is somewhat different from other ABRF groups because of the affiliation with the XMP which engages participants from corporate, academia, and government and members from around the world. The RG has approximately 25 members and growing.
The National Microbiome Initiative is exciting as the US government recognizes the magnitude of metagenomics and microbiome research. There has been over 100 million dollars dedicated by several US agencies as well a dozens of other institutes dedicating additional resources to study all aspects of metagenomics research from collection techniques to bioinformatics tools.
You can read more about this initiative here.