International Microbiome Centre

The IMC at the University of Calgary is a translational research centre, designed to investigate the microbiome of humans, plants, animals, and the physical environment.

The IMC is unique in Canada, with capacity to study the microbiome on a multi-disciplinary scale, and with an emphasis on forming strategic partnerships with government and industry. It is positioned to make significant impacts in the microbiome research landscape that will improve health and wellness for people and animals around the world.


Features

Key differentiators include expertise in and access to:

  • Human microbiota, germ-free and gnotobiotic models
  • Advanced intravital imaging
  • Mass Cytometry
  • Cutting-edge technologies in genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics
  • Integrated high computational capacity for bioinformatics
  • Efficient, accurate, and reputable sample preparation

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Applied Research Objectives

New diagnostics and therapeutics for human health

Researchers will explore the high rate of mortality and morbidity due to chronic diseases and anti-microbial resistant pathogens, with a goal to deliver new or improved diagnostics and therapeutics.

Nutritional value of food to promote health

Microbes contribute to decreased food quality and decreased food production in Western Canada’s agriculture and livestock industries. Scholars will analyze and manipulate various crop and livestock microbiomes that will allow alternatives to the currently used pesticides and antibiotics for food production.

Biomass energy resources, reduction of carbon emissions and environmental health impacts

Researchers will work with industry partners to explore how microbiomes can convert biomass into alternative energy sources, and to develop specialized microbiomes with biofilms to reconvert CO2 emissions.

About
About

The microbiome is

a community of trillions of bacteria, parasites, viruses and fungi that live in and around us and play a major role in shaping and educating our immune systems. Every person has a unique microbiome, which plays an instrumental role in health and wellness, protecting us from pathogens and chronic diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease and chronic infections.

Research Platforms

Germ-free facility

  • Generate animal models to study host-microbiome interactions
  • Determine the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which the microbiome mediates its impact on the host

Real-time in vivo and in vitro imaging

  • Elucidate mechanisms of host-microbiome interaction
  • Assess the efficacy of interventions

Genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics

  • Identify genes, proteins, and metabolites associated with diseases
  • Understand the genetic basis of diseases

Bioinformatics

  • Collect, analyze, and interpret biological information from omics

Mass cytometry

  • Identify new biomarkers
  • Characterize cell types in normal and disease states

Biobanking

  • Conduct cohort studies
  • Provide access to clinical samples and patient profiles
Research Platforms
Research Platforms