San Francisco, California (PRWEB) May 07, 2015
uBiome is launching this global consortium to bring together talented researchers worldwide, with an emphasis on under-represented areas. This consortium is intended to complement, not replace or compete with, efforts like the IHMC and NIH Human Microbiome Project. There is no charge to participate in the consortium and membership is available to scientists worldwide. Membership in the consortium includes many benefits, including:
Speaking opportunities at conferences and event invitations
Grants — up to $ 100k total in microbiome kits for exceptional research proposals
Early access to publications
Job listings for graduate students
Resources for continuing education
Discounts from partners
Free uBiome kit
“Collaboration is the fuel of research. We aim for this consortium to promote bonds among academics worldwide and allow all researchers to advance the state of research more quickly. We can accelerate the pace of scientific discovery and understanding of the impact of the microbiome on human health,” noted Jessica Richman, co-founder and CEO of uBiome.
uBiome’s scientific advisory board includes Dr. Joseph DeRisi, HHMI Professor of Biochemistry at the University of California at San Francisco and Macarthur Genius Award Winner; Dr. Jonathan Eisen, Leading Microbiome Researcher and Professor of Microbiology at the University of California, Davis; Dr. Larry Smarr, Leading Quantified Self Researcher and Professor of Computer Science at the University of California, San Diego, and many other noted researchers.
The human body is composed of 10 trillion human cells, but there are ten times as many microbial cells as human cells — the 100 trillion that together form the microbiome. These microbes are not harmful, but rather are co-evolved symbionts, essential partners in our physiology. Like the rainforest, the healthy human microbiome is a balanced ecosystem. The latest research suggests that the correct balance of microbes serves to keep potential pathogens in check and regulate the immune system. Microbes also perform essential functions such as digesting food and synthesizing vitamins.
uBiome’s technology provides a simple and affordable toolkit for researchers. It is committed to the success of it’s current academic partners, while also hoping to inspire novel applications by improving accessibility to research and supporting discoveries about the microbiome. uBiome currently collaborates with dozens of universities on academic research, including Harvard, Stanford, UCSF, University College London, and the Garvan Institute (Australia).
uBiome’s research partnerships include studies of the human gut, mouth, skin, genitals, nose, and gingival sulci. Dr. Jeremy Horst, a post-doctoral researcher at UCSF and practicing dentist, participated in a recent study to better understand the role of bacteria in periodontal disease and caries. “Our work with Dr. Horst and others has inspired us to reach out to the broader academic community,” said Dr. Zachary Apte, co-founder and CTO of uBiome. “We’re excited to extend our reach and collaborate with a more diverse group of academic partners.”
uBiome provides participants with a catalog of their microbiome through a self-collected sample that is then processed in their state-of-the-art laboratory in San Francisco. The service details the microbial composition of various populations on the body, explains what is known about each type of microbe, and relates the participant’s microbiome information to the latest scientific research on the role of the microbiome in health, diet, and lifestyle. The global academic consortium aims to help researchers advance knowledge of the microbiome at a more rapid pace.