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Tools & Techniques Microbiology, Omics

How Are You – and How’s Your Microbiome?

Microbes are everywhere. They are present in our gut, on our skin, in our oral cavity – and we may even carry a ‘bacterial plume’ around us. Our microbiota (the term used to describe the plethora of species present in an ecosystem) does more than just reside in our body, responding to changes within as we mature; recent studies have shown that the compositional balance of the microbiota and its expressed genes – the ‘microbiome’ – has a significant effect on health and well-being of the individual. Many pathological conditions, including allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, immunological disorders, type 2 diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease as well as mental health conditions, are influenced by the microbiome. Researchers describe the microbiome as the ‘second genome’ of the body – and there is potential to manipulate it to address disease states.

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About the Author

Pratik Jagtap

Pratik Jagtap is a Research Assistant Professor at the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis (USA). In 2000, he received his PhD at the Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad (India). Later, during his post-doctoral research in Stefan Schuster Lab at Max-Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Tuebingen (Germany) and Phil Andrews Lab at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (USA), he worked on genomic and post-genomic analysis of Bdellovibrio - an endosymbiont bacterium. In 2008, he joined the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute (Minneapolis, USA) as a computational proteomics consultant and later in 2013 as a Managing Director of the Center for Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics (St. Paul, USA). His current research interest (along with Professor Tim Griffin) includes developing analytical workflows using Galaxy platform in the area of proteomics, especially in emerging area of metaproteomics, proteogenomics and data-independent acquisition (DIA) data analysis. He has authored over 20 peer-reviewed manuscripts including editing a Special issue on Microbiomes in Proteomics journal.

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