Huei-Hun Elizabeth Tseng's poster "A Digital Fingerprinting method for screening the gut microbiome across human populations" won the Best Student Poster prize at Beyond the Genome 2010 in October. The project concerns a high-tech approach to measuring the diversity of microbes resident in the human gut.
The human microbiome is increasingly recognized as an important factor in human health, yet the lack of cost-effective profiling techniques has prohibited broad human population studies linking variation in gut microbiome diversity to variation in disease risk. Tseng and collaborators are developing a Digital Fingerprinting technique to discriminate the gut bacterial community among individuals while capturing the microbial diversity. With the advent of sequencers that provide high-throughput sequencing at more affordable cost, Digital Fingerprinting can serve as an effective diagnostic tool or an initial screening tool for grouping samples according to disease or condition.
Collaborators include Meredith Hullar, Fei Li, and Johanna W. Lampe from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Lisa Strate from UW Gastroenterology, and Richard Sandstrom, Audra K. Johnson, and John Stamatoyonnopoulos from Genome Sciences.