Standards for Microbiome Measurements

This webinar is part of the Microbiome Educational 3-Part Webinar Series.

In this webinar, you will learn that:

  • There is bias in every step of the (microbiome) measurement process
  • All microbiome measurements are inaccurate
  • Microbiome measurements are precise (reproducible) when the methodical variables are standardized
  • Microbiome reference materials are extremely difficult to develop


Appreciation for the role of microbes in our lives has been growing rapidly, but the measurement science needed to understand and fully exploit microbial systems has developed at a much slower pace than the industries dependent on them demands.  NIST is developing standards for microbiome measurements that will enable federal, academic, and industry labs to reliably reproduce and advance each other's results. Microbiome standards will support research investigations and commercial translation of microbiome science by providing measurement assurance tools: standardized protocols, reference materials, validated measurements and critically evaluated reference data. 

View other webinars in this series:

How to Create Microbiome-Based Live Biotherapeutic Products

Genetic Maps of Earth’s Cities, Terrestrial Wastewater, and Visiting Sleighs/Spacecraft



Scott A. Jackson, PhD
Leader – Complex Microbial Systems Group
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Scott Jackson joined The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in May of 2014.  At NIST, Scott is currently the leader of the Complex Microbial Systems Group in the Biosystems and Biomaterials Division.  In this current role, Scott is leading international efforts to improve microbiome and metagenomic measurements by organizing inter-lab studies, developing reference materials and reference methods, and developing in vitro tools that allow us to better understand microbial community resilience and evolution.  Prior to joining NIST in 2014, Scott spent 11 years as a principal investigator with the FDA.  At FDA, his research focused on characterizing the global genomic diversity of enteric pathogens, with applications for food safety, bioforensics and public health.  Scott performed his PhD research in biochemistry and biophysics at The University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University, respectfully, where he focused on the evolution of mobile genetic elements using yeast as a model genetic organism.  Scott performed his undergraduate studies in Chemistry and Geology at the University of South Carolina.