Co-evolution of tools and data in the microbiome space

May 11, 2016 from 3:30 to 4:20 p.m. — Physics/Astronomy Auditorium, room A195

Professor, Departments of Pediatrics and Computer Science and Engineering, UC San Diego


The cost of obtaining microbiome data has decreased approximately a million fold in the last 15 years. This quantitative change in cost has led to a qualitative change in study designs, techniques and conclusions. Here I illustrate the progress of the microbiome field in terms of data science techniques, and describe key future areas of development including deep learning, integration of multiple dense timeseries, and predictive modeling. Every year since 1991 has been the best year ever for studying microbiology including the human microbiome: with the help of data scientists across multiple disciplines, we can expect this exciting trend to continue well into the future.


Rob Knight is a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, with an additional appointment in the Department of Computer Science, at the University of California San Diego. He was chosen as one of 50 HHMI Early Career Scientists in 2009, is a Senior Editor at the ISME Journal, a member of the Steering Committee of the Earth Microbiome Project, and a co-founder of the American Gut Project.