Photo Credit: OpenBiome team members conducting research with scientists from The Universidad Nacional Litoral de Sante Fe (UNL).

Expanding Understanding of the Human Microbiome

As a member of the Global Microbiome Conservancy (GMbC) Consortium, OpenBiome supports efforts to conserve, study, and share underrepresented human microbiome diversity.

The Global Microbiome: A New Frontier in Human Health


Through the Global Microbiome Conservancy (GMbC) Consortium, OpenBiome collaborates with an international team of researchers to develop a deeper understanding of the microbiome and ensure that breakthroughs in microbiome-based medicine benefit patients worldwide.

An Urgent Need to Conserve and Study Global Microbiome Diversity

Microbiome research is transforming our understanding of human health but we are leaving many behind.

Current knowledge of the microbiome is largely focused on populations in the United States and Western Europe. Approximately 70% of samples available in public databases come from North America and Europe while 120 countries and territories have zero representation.

Because the microbiome varies widely across populations with different diets, lifestyles, and genetic backgrounds, this lack of representation limits both understanding of the microbiome as well as the applicability of future therapeutics for understudied communities.

openbiome_11_17_22_4166_LRG (1)
Building and sharing the world’s most globally representative microbiome library

OpenBiome's Role

OpenBiome collaborates with the Global Microbiome Conservancy (GMbC) — a nonprofit initiative that conserves and promotes understanding of global human microbiome diversity to advance public health.

Through the GMbC, OpenBiome supports microbiome sampling expeditions in underrepresented communities. Data and research materials from these studies are stored in the GMbC biobank and shared with scientists in the GMbC consortium. This critical research forms the basis for comparing microbiome diversity across different global populations.

To date, the GMbC has established a network of 90+ researchers in over three dozen countries and built a diverse collection of samples and bacterial isolates to spark scientific discovery.

Sampling Expeditions

OpenBiome has supported microbiome sampling expeditions in Argentina and Iraq, and is committed to supporting four additional studies in Borneo, Paraguay, Ethiopia, and Kazakhstan in 2024.




Help us build a world where the full potential of the microbiome radically improves health for all

Scroll To Top