The microbiome has been recognized as an important initiative by the CCTS and by UAB. With institutional support for studying the microbiome in both animal and human models, the CCTS will contribute informatics support and Next-Gen Sequencing analysis. Working collaboratively, these efforts are sufficiently linked to provide a seamless menu of services for clinical and translational investigators. This resource will provide investigators assistance with: 1) experimental design and planning (Microbiome Core), 2) sample collection and preparation (Microbiome Core), 3) sequencing of 16S ribosomal genes, 4) bioinformatic and statistical analysis of the sequence reads (CCTS Informatics), 5) extending the analytical capabilities to provide full metagenomic sequencing of experimental samples, and 6) testing cause-effect hypotheses by utilizing the germ-free animal models (Gnotobiotic Core). These Cores are described further below.