January 15th 2021 – First Latin American Symposium of the Global Microbiome Network 

The current symposium brings together local and foreign scientists that lead the fields of microbiology, anthropology, ethics, public health and bioinformatics, to teach, learn and discuss the importance of conservation efforts on microbial biodiversity. This is the first of a series of workshops that will help establish a global microbiome network.
Microbial diversity, crucial for human health, is globally threatened by westernization and urbanization at an unprecedented pace. Microbial biodiversity hotspots are mostly located in places with traditional peoples and will be lost as they integrate in industrial societies, unless there is recognition of the urgent to preserve it, and foster research to understand the functions of the diversity at risk of being lost.
There is a clear association between industrialization/urbanization and the rocketing of immune and metabolic and immune malfunctions leading to diseases such as asthma, allergies, type 1 diabetes, celiac disease, etc. These microbes at risk of extinction will be needed in the future to reverse the worldwide trends of increasing chronic diseases.

Register Here
Symposium Agenda

June 11th 2020 – Public release of the Microbiota Vault feasibility study

A new feasibility study supported by world-leading scientists finds that the creation of a “microbial Noah’s Ark” is feasible and should move forward into a pilot project phase. The feasibility study was prepared by two independent Swiss firms (evalueScience and advocacy) and supported by non-profit institutions and universities active in the field of the human gut microbiome. The funding consortia includes the Swiss Gebert Rüf Foundation along with the Seerave Foundation, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (Portugal), Rutgers University (USA), Kiel University (Germany), Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (Canada), Bengt E. Gustafsson symposium foundation (affiliated to Karolinska Institutet, Sweden) and UC San Diego School of Medicine (USA). The study found that the Microbiota Vault initiative has great significance and potential, and that its leaders should establish a pilot project that would include infrastructure to store microbes in a site such as Switzerland or Norway or and a collaboration mechanism for collecting samples with a developing country.

Download the full feasibility study as of June 11th 2020 (12pm EST) from here.

The following press releases are available for download:
USA (Rutgers University)
– Switzerland EN, FR, DE (Seerave Foundation and Gebert Rüf Foundation)
– Germany EN, DE (Kiel University)
Portugal (Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation)

A 1 minute video is available for screen and social media.

December 1st 2019 – Clinical review on  “The role of the changing human microbiome in the asthma pandemic”

Prof. Martin Blaser, one of our pioneer scientists, published a comprehensive review to highlight the strides the field has made in characterizing the constituents of the human gastrointestinal microbiota, such as Helicobacter
pylori, other members of the neonatal intestinal microbiota, and microbial peptides and metabolites that influence host immunity.

Find the full article here.

November 13th 2019 – Kiel Möbius Prize goes to Microbiota Vault pioneer Prof. Martin Blaser

The Collaborative Research Centre (CRC) 1182 “Origin and Function of Metaorganisms” at Kiel University awarded its most important science prize, the Karl August Möbius-Fellowship, for the third time. This year’s winner is the American physician and microbiologist Professor Martin J. Blaser from Rutgers University in New Jersey. Blaser, who was voted one of the 100 most influential people of 2015 by the US news magazine “Time”, will receive the 10,000 Euro award for his lifetime achievement and the associated special merits for a better understanding of how microbial colonization of the body is related to human health. A core thesis of his work is that the loss of microbial diversity is one of the main causes of many modern diseases of civilization.

Find the full article here.

Watch the interview with Martin Blaser & Maria Gloria Dominguez here (3 minutes) or here (29 minutes).

June 1st 2019 – Opinion: New Repository Will Hold the World’s Microbial Riches

A team of our pioneer scientists published an opinion piece around the Microbiome Vault initiative in “The Scientist”.

Find the full article here.

October 5th 2018 – Science perspective “Preserving microbial diversity”

A team of our pioneer scientists published the rationale around the Microbiome Vault initiative in the journal Science:

Find the full article here.

Media coverage


  • World Radio Switzerland: Interview with Manuel Fankhauser, a Microbiota Vault pioneer (in English)
  • RTS (Swiss National Radio): Interview with Joël Doré, a Microbiota Vault collaborator (in French)
  • Publico: Vai ser criado um cofre para os micróbios da humanidade
  • ElNuevoDia: Un Arca de Noé para los microbios
  • ScienceNews: Scientists want to build a Noah’s Ark for the human microbiome
  • Blick: Schweiz als Standort für «Arche Noah der Mikroorganismen»
  • Heidi.News: EXCLUSIF — Un bunker de l’armée suisse pourrait devenir l’Arche de Noé du microbiote humain
  • Higgs: Warum Tausende von Fäkalproben in einem Schweizer Bunker aufbewahrt werden sollen
  • LeTemps: La Suisse, terre d’accueil pour une arche de Noé microbienne?



  • The Washington Post: The silent microbiome crisis
  • NPR: A Frozen Idea To Save Helpful Germs From Disasters
  • ScienceDaily: Scientists call for microbial ‘Noah’s Ark’ to protect global health
  • Bloomberg: Scientists Urge Doomsday Vault for ‘Good’ Germs
  • U.S. News & World Report: Can a ‘Noah’s Ark’ of Microbes Save the World’s Health?
  • Business Insider: Scientists want to build a doomsday vault of germs that could one day help save humanity
  • The Daily Mail: Scientists reveal plan to create doomsday ‘Noah’s Ark’ for good germs to protect humanity against future disease
  • The Guardian: Build ‘Noah’s ark’ for beneficial gut microbes, scientists say
  • Cosmos Magazine: Call for a global microbial “Noah’s ark”
  • IFL Science!: Scientists Want To Create A “Noah’s Ark” Of Bacteria To Protect The Future Of Global Health
  • Inverse: A Doomsday Vault for Seeds Isn’t Enough, We’ll Also Need One for Our Germs