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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Establishment of a Population-based Microbiome Research Core in the Survey of The Health of Wisconsin

This project will create the Population-based Microbiome Research Core (PMRC) in the Survey of Health of Wisconsin (SHOW). The mission of the PMRC will be to provide the UW-Madison research community expertise and resources to conduct microbiome research in the SHOW population and to obtain robust preliminary data for extramural research grants addressing a broad range of human microbiome research applications. Modeled after the CDC National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), SHOW conducts household-based examination surveys on diversity-enhanced, representative samples of Wisconsin residents in urban, suburban and rural settings.

A focal point of the research core will be the expansion of a data and specimen bank that was created in 2016 as part of a diet and microbiome study. Collected among 600 adults and their households, the PMRC specimen bank will include longitudinal stool samples; skin, nasal, and oral swabs; outdoor surface soil; indoor settled dust; indoor high-touch surface swabs; and samples of household drinking and supply water. Results from 16s rRNA sequencing and shotgun metagenomics carried out on banked specimens can be readily linked to a broad spectrum of objective and subjective data collected on major health determinants and outcomes in the SHOW.

The SHOW PMRC seeks to galvanize the campus community of laboratory and clinical researchers and research trainees in need of carrying out microbiome studies in a population-based sample of Wisconsin residents.


Ajay Sethi, Associate Professor, Population Health Sciences


Ronald Gangnon, Professor of Biostatistics and Medical Informatics in Population Health Sciences

Tamara LeCaire, Assistant Scientist in Population Health Sciences

Kristen Malecki, Assistant Professor of Population Health Sciences

Julie Mares, Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

Maria Nikodemova, Assistant Scientist in Population Health Sciences

Paul Peppard, Associate Professor of Population Health Sciences

Nasia Safdar, Associate Professor of Medicine

Sanjay Shukla, Senior Research Scientist, Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation

Garret Suen, Assistant Professor of Bacteriology