The Microbiome Center is an intellectual home for researchers across the University of Chicago, the Marine Biological Laboratory, and Argonne National Laboratory to advance understanding of the identity and function of microbes. The Microbiome Center supports the scientists who are investigating fundamental questions and developing new applications and tools to understand and harness the capabilities of microbial systems across different fields. The Microbiome Center capitalizes on the significant activity already occurring across our institutions and our unique capabilities to enable coordinated and collaborative research. By leveraging world-class expertise and facilities, and expanding research and learning opportunities, scientists have the opportunity to challenge new frontiers. The Center supports a dynamic research community, enables rapid translation to private and clinical sectors, and trains a new generation of scientists able to take on fundamental questions about the microbiome.

To understand and harness the capability of microbes we must work across boundaries. Fundamental studies help us to discover, characterize, and model the microbes in our bodies, our water, plants and animals. We must understand the pathways and mechanisms in-between systems. What is happening between the gut and brain? How can we reduce antibiotic resistance by understanding how plants work in community with their microbial neighbors? What similar principles are at work in urban microbes and those in deep oceans? By asking the same questions in different settings and scales we are investigating how life works.