Grand Challenge: Mapping NYC's MetaGenome


When President Obama called for scientific research to address major national or global problems, NYU responded with its own Grand Challenge competition, awarding $250,000 each to two interdisciplinary research groups chosen from among the 32 who applied.

In this video, members of one winning team—Biology Professor Jane Carlton, director of the NYU Center for Genomics and Systems Biology, and Ari Patrinos, deputy director for research at the Center for Urban Science and Progress—explain how the Grand Challenge grant will help them map the “MetaGenome” of New York City. By studying the microbes all around us, they may be able to identify potential health threats, fight flu epidemics, and even chart the environmental impact of major storms. Their first step? Taking microbial samples from NYC sewers.

Click here to meet the other NYU Grand Challenge winners, a team of researchers working on a new generation of powerful wireless brain implants.