mSystems® is an open-access ASM journal dedicated to publishing diverse systems microbiology research—everything from cell metabolism to ecosystem dynamics, tools and techniques, to novel synthetic microbiology.

Join the free mSystems Thinking Series of webinars, where editors come together with some of their favorite speakers on a variety of topics, using an interactive forum to allow the community to both hear the best science and meet speakers in small groups. Presentations are followed by an open forum panel discussion with all speakers and participants. Discussions and Q&A will all be live.

Clinical Microbiome: From Technology to Application

Date: May 6, 10 p.m. EDT USA (May 7th, 10:00 a.m. CST China)

Take part in this special mSystems Thinking Series webinar, featuring 2 talks that explore microbiota and host interactions. Two mSystems Editors will present recent advances in analyzing microbiota in host-rich clinical specimens and investigating host and microbiota relations in complex chronic diseases.

Presentation I: Method Development for Analyzing Low-Biomass Microbiomes in Human Clinical Samples (Shi Huang, Ph.D.)
Accurately characterizing the human microbiota alongside host cells is fundamental for comprehending the intricate host-microbe interactions underpinning various host conditions. However, this task presents significant challenges, especially in samples inundated with host contamination, such as saliva and human tissues. This webinar will provide insights into recent endeavors aimed at developing a streamlined metagenomic approach using the 2bRAD technique for analyzing microbiota in low-biomass or host-rich clinical samples. 

Key Learning Objectives: 

  • Understanding the challenges or limitations of conventional metagenomics in resolving microbial composition at the species/strain level in low-biomass clinical samples. 
  • Exploring how innovative metagenomic methods, including 2bRAD-M and Strain2bFunc, have effectively tackled technical challenges through rigorous benchmarking efforts using mock communities and real clinical samples. 
  • Gaining insights into future directions for method development in low-biomass microbiota analysis and its potential clinical applications, such as Raman-activated single-cell technical platform. 

Presentation II: Causative Role of Human Microbiome in Chronic Diseases (Hongwei Zhou, Ph.D.)
Understanding the causative role of human microbiome and revealing the underlying mechanisms between the microbiome and host are crucial for the translation of the complex human microbiome field. This webinar will introduce our recent results about the key species and pathways between host and microbiota within complex chronic diseases including preeclampsia, stroke, Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis.  

Key learning objectives:  

  • Understanding the causative role of specific gut microbiota in preeclampsia, stroke and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Exploring how this opens new opportunities for prevention and treatment of these diseases.
  • Gaining insights into how regional multi-center cohorts are warranted to validate the correlations of microbiome with chronic diseases.  


  • Shi Huang, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in Microbiology, University of Hong Kong.
  • Hongwei Zhou, Ph.D., Director of Microbiome Medicine Center and Director of Division of Laboratory Medicine of Zhujiang Hospital, Southern Medical University.


  • Jian Xu, Ph.D., Professor and Director of Single-Cell Center and Director of BioEnergy Division, Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS-QIBEBT).

Explore past mSystems Thinking Series webinars on our YouTube playlist! Including the recording of the Dec. 7th event, "Microbes and Sexual Health."