Gerber Lab awarded $3.1 Million Five Year NIH-NIGMS R35 Grant “Probabilistic deep learning models and integrated biological experiments for analyzing dynamic and heterogeneous microbiomes”

This work will leverage deep learning technologies to advance the microbiome field beyond finding associations in data, to accurately predicting the effects of perturbations on microbiota, elucidating mechanisms through which the microbiota affects the host, and improving bacteriotherapies to enable their success in the clinic. New deep learning models will be developed that address specific challenges for the microbiome, including noisy/small datasets, highly heterogenous human microbiomes, the need for direct interpretability of model outputs, complex multi-modal datasets, and constraints imposed by biological principles. Computational models and biological experiments will be directly coupled through reinforcing cycles of predicting, testing predictions with new experiments, and improving models. An important objective will also be to make computational tools widely available to the research community, through release of quality open-source software.