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Missouri Metagenomics Symposium


The science of metagenomics, also called environmental genomics or ecogenomics, is an emerging field of study that examines genetic material recovered directly from an environment. Mizzou Advantage and the MU Stadler Genetic Symposia joined to sponsor a conference on metagenomics on May 7-8, 2012.

“Next-generation sequencing technologies now enable individual laboratories to tackle genome projects which, only a few years ago, would have beyond all but the largest of Sequencing Centers,” said Jerry Taylor, professor of genetics and animal sciences at MU’s College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources and the lead organizer of the conference.

“However, most of us do not usually think about applications designed to analyze entire communities of organisms, many of which have never previously been identified, let alone sequenced, or the enormous complexities that are encountered in the analysis of such admixed community data sets.  This is the charge of the new field of metagenomics.”


The symposium, free of charge thanks to Mizzou Advantage’s contributions, spanned metagenomics theory and application across all kingdoms of life. Scientific innovators from the University of British Columbia, the University of Chicago, the Max Planck Institute and others presented alongside professors from the University of Missouri, followed by open-ended discussion that established networks between MU and other world-class research institutions.

The Mizzou Advantage grant allowed MU to recruit the foremost metagenomics researchers to present their work at the University of Missouri campus. The symposium established relationships between multiple departments of MU faculty and experts, demonstrating the University of Missouri’s readiness to join the cutting edge of metagenomic research.

Related Initiative(s):
Food for the Future, One Health/One Medicine,

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