Gnotobiotics, Microbiology and Metagenomics


The Gnotobiotics, Microbiology and Metagenomics core assists investigators evaluating the host microbiota and its role in normal physiology and disease. The core includes a number of resources for groups studying the role of the microbiota in human health and disease, including:

Administrative Unit:  which manages the core's LIMS, invoicing and provides assistance to investigators who need to obtain IRB, Biosafety and IACUC protocols for studies.

CLIA (Clinical Laboratory) Unit: handles sample collection and logistics for research and human trials, performs clinical-lab/CLIA-level testing of materials for microbiology and/or molecular analyses.

Molecular Unit: handles sequence-based studies of microbiome samples including nucleic acid extraction, amplification, next-generation sequencing and quantitative PCR studies.

Microbiology Unit: which includes dedicated microbiologists who handle culturing of primary materials, biochemical and resistance phenotyping of defined isolates, and production of short chain fatty acids (SCFA).  The microbiology unit also maintains a large strain bank of human and animal commensal strains and assists with the development of defined microbiota for functional applications.

Computational Unit: which includes bioinformaticians and computer scientists who can assist in experimental design and the analysis of microbiome and other datasets integrating hosts or environmental covariates.  Novel algorithms developed by core staff support longitudinal analyses of microbiota dynamics and prediction of host outcomes with microbiome datasets.

Germfree animal facility: which maintains active breeding colonies of gnotobiotic mouse strains and isolators used for experimental manipulations under germfree or specifically colonized states. The facility also manages high-throughput cage containment systems that can be used for short-term germfree experiments or long-term experiments with transfer or human or other donor flora to gnotobiotic mice.

Located at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Director: Lynn Bry, MD, PhD
Co-Director: Georg Gerber, MD, PhD, MPH
Microbiology Unit Director: Andy Onderdonk, PhD
Corporate Manager: Neil Herring, MBA
Project Manager: Vladimir Yeliseyev
Administrator: Selsebil Slijvo