Archive for uBiome

uBiome Partners with PicnicHealth

San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) May 21, 2015

uBiome, the leading startup focused on microbiome sequencing, has announced a partnership with PicnicHealth, a healthcare company that collects and consolidates medical records for patients. Participants diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) will receive a complementary PicnicHealth account as well as a complementary uBiome research kit. Both companies were funded by Y Combinator in Summer 2014.

For more information on this partnership and how to become a participant, please visit

Through this partnership, uBiome aims to research the IBD-associated microbiome using well-validated clinical data. “uBiome is looking forward to this important partnership with PicnicHealth. We will use the information from this study to learn more about the underlying causes of this disease and do important research to alleviate the suffering of the millions of IBD patients,” said Jessica Richman, co-founder and CEO of uBiome.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease currently affects millions of Americans and its cause is still largely unknown. IBD patients suffer from chronic inflammation of the digestive tract, which can lead to pain, diarrhea, fatigue, and other symptoms. Currently, treatment options include anti-inflammatory drugs, immune system suppressors, antibiotics, and in severe cases, surgery to remove the colon and rectum.

A growing body of research indicates a potential link between the microbial composition of the gut flora and IBD symptoms. Stable microbial populations of various bacteria within the intestine are associated with a healthy gut. When these populations are disturbed, IBD and other gut maladies can emerge. This initial disturbance can be linked to multiple factors including medications, diet, supplements and even the host immune system. uBiome aims to correlate these specific factors with gut microbial states.

PicnicHealth Co-founder Noga Leviner suffers from Crohn’s disease herself and was inspired to start Picnic Health after struggling to keep track of her own health data. “Through this partnership, uBiome is giving hundreds of IBD patients the opportunity to start creating a single, aggregated medical chart. I can speak first hand to how much this will help other IBD patients focus on what’s most important: our health. Not to mention that the data gathered through this strategic partnership will provide new insights into this disease,” said Noga Leviner, co-founder and CEO of Picnic Health.

PicnicHealth customers typically pay $ 399 per year for a service which collects and manages their medical records in an easy to use format. uBiome customers typically pay $ 89 for a one-time gut sampling kit. Individuals joining the study will receive a free PicnicHealth for IBD account and a free uBiome kit. In return, they will allow use of clinically validated data in the research study. Patients will also receive access to their own microbiome and healthcare data.

About uBiome

uBiome ( was founded in 2012 to sequence the microbiome for researchers, clinicians, and the public. With the largest microbiome database in the world, uBiome uses microbial genomics to help patients benefit from new discoveries in scientific research. uBiome joined Y Combinator in Summer 2014 and raised a Series A from Andreessen Horowitz.

About Picnic Health

PicnicHealth ( helps patients with complex conditions manage their medical information by collecting records and images on a patient’s behalf, securely maintaining an up-to-date digital medical chart, and coordinating sharing records with doctors and family members. Patients get a user-friendly interface to their care and doctors get the patient data they need to make the best care decisions.

About Y Combinator

Y Combinator ( is the world’s premier program for technology entrepreneurs. Founded in 2005, Y Combinator has backed numerous billion-dollar startups from the seed stage, including AirBNB, Dropbox, Stripe, and Zenefits. It has also helped dozens of startups have multimillion dollar exits.

If you would like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview, call uBiome at +1 415-275-2461 or email CEO Jessica Richman at jessica(at)ubiome(dot)com

Contact: Jessica Richman, CEO

Cell: +1 415-275-2461


Email: jessica(at)ubiome(dot)com

uBiome Seeks Academic Partnerships with the Launch of the uBiome Academic Consortium

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.