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Beth McCormick, PhD, professor of microbiology & physiological systems, was awarded $125,000 to develop the Center for Microbiome Research, envisioned as a center of research and education for the microbiome, the ecosystem of the 100 trillion bacteria in the human body.

The center will be developed in collaboration with UMass Amherst’s new Life Sciences Laboratories and the UMass Dartmouth Center for Scientific Computing and Data Visualization Research. The exploration of the microbiome—and its role in health, development and disease—is a vast and mostly untapped area of biomedical research and therapeutic potential. The center proposes to use advanced computational and bioinformatics to research microbiome-related genomic and clinical data and involves multiple industry partners. The project also received a $25,000 matching grant from UMass Chan.