Each year, BioMed Central presents awards in recognition of top quality research published in its journals. The winners of the Microbiology, Immunology, Infection and Inflammation category award are Julia Oh (pictured) and her colleagues for their article ‘Shifts in human skin and nares microbiota in health children and adults’ published in Genome Medicine.
The judges agreed it was an outstanding article that makes an important contribution to the scientific field as well as being of interest to the general public.
The award was presented to Julia Oh at the American Society for Microbiology general meeting in May 2013. Julia and her co-authors were pleasantly surprised and honored when they were informed that their article had won the award.
Julia says the main finding of the article is the “very striking shift in the skin microbiota as children age”.
This was a surprising result as human skin microbiota had not previously been linked to age, especially the nostril microbiota. The article looks at the inherent bacterial communities in the skin, and Julia and her colleagues hope to expand on these results by going on to examine the fungal and viral communities that form part of the skin microbiome.
Julia is currently in her first post-doctoral research role and became interested in the microbiome field when she read a paper on soil metagenomics as a graduate student. She finds the concept that our bodies are hosts to different bacterial species revolutionary and believes that “studying the diverse communities of microbes in and on our bodies has the potential to help us better understand human health and disease.”