Metagenomics for Universal Pathogen Detection


Metagenomics, the genomic analysis of a population of microorganisms, makes possible the profiling of microbial communities in the environment and the human body at unprecedented depth and breadth. Its rapidly expanding use is revolutionizing our understanding of microbial diversity in natural and man-made environments and is linking microbial community profiles with health and disease. In addition, recent progress in rapid and accurate data analysis has also demonstrated promise of metagenomics-based approaches for universal pathogen detection in routine patient samples. This lecture discusses approaches, promises, and challenges for the use of metagenomics-based tests in diagnostic laboratories.

Originally presented on April 25, 2016, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Lecture Presenter

Robert Schlaberg, MD, Dr Med, MPH

Robert Schlaberg, MD, Dr Med, MPH

Medical Director, Microbial Amplified Detection, Virology, and Fecal Chemistry Laboratories
ARUP Laboratories
Assistant Medical Director, Virology and Molecular Infectious Disease Laboratories
ARUP Laboratories
Assistant Professer, Department of Pathology
University of Utah School of Medicine

Dr. Schlaberg is an assistant professor of clinical pathology at the University of Utah School of Medicine. He received his MD and doctor medicinæ degrees at the Julius-Maximilians-University in Wuerzburg, Germany and his master of public health at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York City, where he also served as a postdoctoral fellow. Dr. Schlaberg trained in clinical pathology at the Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, where he was the chief clinical pathology resident. He is certified in clinical pathology and medical microbiology by the American Board of Pathology. His research focuses on the use of next-generation sequencing for unbiased pathogen detection and host response-based diagnostics.


After this presentation, participants will be able to:

  • Discuss universal pathogen detection by metagenomics
  • Summarize laboratory approaches
  • Discuss challenges and solutions for data analysis
  • Provide examples of applications for syndromic testing
  • Review promise and challenges for diagnostic use

Sponsored by:

University of Utah School of Medicine, Department of Pathology, and ARUP Laboratories