CMIT Global Diversity Resource Program

The Center for Microbiome Informatics and Therapeutics (CMIT) is pleased to partner with MIT spin-out OpenBiome to provide MIT researchers with no-cost, priority access to the Global Microbiome Conservancy strain collection through a targeted pilot program.

Microbial strains from the GMbC collection, preserved in cryovials (courtesy of the Global Microbiome Conservancy)
Microbial strains from the GMbC collection, preserved in cryovials (courtesy of the Global Microbiome Conservancy)

OpenBiome is launching a pilot program to distribute bacterial isolates prepared by its new flagship program, The Global Microbiome Conservancy (GMbC). Since its inception in 2016, the GMbC has been working with scientists and communities around the world to build a globally representative microbiome library. Beginning with this pilot program, OpenBiome will start providing access to the GMbC library as a research tool. The pilot will run from October 2022 to March 2023 with the goal of opening broader distribution later that Spring. 

CMIT, who provided catalytic support and seed funding to found the GMbC, is partnering with OpenBiome to enroll MIT researchers and external CMIT Investigators in this distribution program and cover the cost of obtaining a GMbC Pilot Kit. Any MIT professor, CMIT investigator, or member of the MIT research staff with principal investigator privileges is eligible to apply for this opportunity by submitting a brief project proposal by Friday, October 28th at 11:59 EST. Please see below for details regarding the resources on offer.

OpenBiome Pilot Distribution of Global Microbiome Conservancy (GMbC) Bacterial Isolates for Non-Commercial Research

Research Materials

  • Participating scientists will receive a GMbC Pilot Kit containing approximately 50 anaerobic bacterial seed stocks.
  • Bacterial isolates are derived from stool samples donated by diverse, highly underrepresented communities around the world and reflect both rural and urban lifestyles and diets. See this GMbC publication for more information about sampling and donors.  
  • Participating scientists will have an opportunity to give input on which species or strains they are most interested in receiving, and which would be useful in future offerings. 
  • All scientists will receive the same set of isolates
  • Instructions for accessing associated data and metadata (e.g., stool sample 16S and metagenomics, isolate whole genome sequences, participant diet and lifestyle) will be provided.  


  • Seed stocks will be provided free of charge, courtesy of OpenBiome
  • Participating scientists will have their shipping fees covered by CMIT

Pilot Conditions

  • Materials are anticipated to be ready for shipment in early 2023
  • Materials may only be used for non-commercial purposes. Detailed information will be provided in a Material Transfer Agreement.
  • During and after the pilot, participating scientists will be asked to provide process feedback and input on the composition of the kit and future offerings, as well as engage in limited outreach (e.g.,give an online talk at a GMbC Consortium workshop). We anticipate that the total commitment will be no more than 5 hours of participant time over six months.

About OpenBiome

OpenBiome accelerates bold discoveries in microbiome science to improve health for all. An independent nonprofit, we catalyze cutting edge research, advance treatment, and expand scientific capacity to unlock the full potential of the human microbiome.

Since our founding at MIT in 2012, we have provided FMT treatments to more than 60,000 patients with recurrent C. difficile infections and supported over 40 studies investigating how the microbiome affects human health. Through OpenBiome’s new flagship program, the Global Microbiome Conservancy (GMbC), we are building and sharing the world’s most globally representative collection of microbiome samples and strains to fill critical gaps in microbiome science.

About the Global Microbiome Conservancy

The Global Microbiome Conservancy (GMbC) is a flagship program at OpenBiome dedicated to conserving and providing access to the global diversity of the human microbiome. The GMbC was co-founded at MIT in 2016 by former MIT postdocs Mathieu Groussin, PhD and Mathilde Poyet, PhD with catalytic support and seed funding from the Center for Microbiome Informatics and Therapeutics (CMIT) and CMIT Co-Directors Prof. Eric Alm and Dr. Ramnik Xavier.

About the Center for Microbiome Informatics and Therapeutics

The Center for Microbiome Informatics and Therapeutics (CMIT) was established in 2014 with a vision for the impact the growing field of microbiome research could have on the experience of patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. A regional center of excellence for microbiome research, CMIT sits at the intersection of basic research, clinical practice, and engineering. Engaging researchers across multiple disciplines and institutions, CMIT enlists the methods and expertise from each field to deliver microbiome-based precision medicines to patients, while fostering the next generation of microbiome innovators to sustain momentum in the field for years to come.