At the UNC Microbiome Core our aim is to provide the research community at UNC and around the Triangle with the optimal facilities and expertise to characterize complex microbial communities and microbial interactions. The Core has state of the art instrumentation and extensively trained personnel that provide support from experimental design to data analysis and everywhere in between!
- microbial community amplicon and metagenomics sequencing,
- gene expression analysis by RNA sequencing or quantitative PCR,
- quantification of total bacteria and specific groups in complex communities by standard, high-throughput or digital quantitative PCR,
- bioinformatic analysis of next generation sequencing data
The North Carolina Microbiome Core Collection Hub (MCCH). The understanding of host-associated and free-living microbial communities’ structure and functionality has greatly advanced via high-throughput sequencing. As the field moves from association studies to mechanistic and interventional studies, the availability of authenticated, reliable biological material and associated information has become crucial.
The UNC Microbiome Core has provided for the past 10 years reliable expertise and technologies for determination of composition and functionality of microbiomes. In the last year, in partnership with the CGIBD Advanced Analytics Core (AAC) and the Carolina Donor Services (CDS), the Core has created the AMC bacterial culture collection. CDS is the federally designated organ procurement organization serving 7.2 million people in 77 counties of North Carolina and Danville (Virginia). Intact intestines from organ donors were processed for isolation of bacterial strains adding to our strain collection, which has currently approximately 350 strains.
The long-term objective of the MCCH is to provide access to NC academic investigators to fully characterized and well catalogued bacterial strains ready to use in interventional human or animal studies. Our short-term aim is to connect UNC-CH investigators that can contribute to or are interested in being part of the MCCH. Researchers may submit bacterial strains to the Core for preservation and management or simply enter the collection catalog, which will provide the adequate links and contact information.
The enormous importance of free-living and host-associated microorganisms has been highlighted by important studies conducted in the last 10 to 15 years. The Microbiome Core has proudly contributed to understanding the correlation and mechanisms governing interactions between the microbiome and infant development, exposure to antibiotics and toxicants, lactose intolerance and other gastrointestinal conditions, as demonstrated by the extensive list of publications recognizing our contribution.