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uBiome Awards Grant to Monash University in Malaysia to Explore Microbiomes of Indigenous and Hunter-Gatherer Communities
Date:1/21/2019

Through its Microbiome Grant Initiative, uBiome, the leader in microbial genomics, has awarded microbiome research support in study design, planning, sample collection, and analysis to researchers at the Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences at Monash University in Malaysia led by Dr. Maude Phipps, PhD, to study the association of health, diet and cultural practices in Southeast Asian hunter-gatherers and indigenous tribes.

The goal of the study is to characterize the microbiomes of the indigenous people of Peninsular Malaysia known as Orang Asli and the Negrito hunter-gatherers and explore the relationship of the microbiome to diet and lifestyle practices. Being the first study of its kind, researchers hope this investigation into communities whom largely depend on the forest for resources will advance elucidation of mechanisms involved in health, disease and adaptation.

Data collected from the study will include microbiome composition from uBiome’s patented kits, as well as body measurements, diet, olfactory features and cardiometabolic risk indicators such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and hypertension.

“Dr. Phipps and her team are contributing to expanding uBiome’s microbiome database – the largest in the world – to include a greater diversity,” said Jessica Richman, PhD, co-founder and CEO of uBiome. “uBiome is proud to support this novel investigation of underrepresented southeastern Asian indigenous populations.”

Dr. Phipps, PhD, is a professor of Human Molecular Genetics at the Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences at Monash University in Malaysia. She is an active member of the Human Genome Organization, Australian South East Asian Tissue Typing Association, and the UNESCO Bioethics program. Dr. Phipps is co-chair of the Policy Review Board of the Pan-Asia SNP Initiative and is Vice President of the Genetics Society of Malaysia.

About the grant, Dr. Phipps said, “My team and I at Monash University Malaysia are delighted and honored to receive this award and to collaborate with uBiome. We have engaged three tribes who have consented to come on board and work with us. Microbiome research in indigenous communities is understudied and no doubt the discoveries to be made will be beneficial to the global community.”

Through its Microbiome Grant Initiative, uBiome has awarded millions of dollars in research support to hundreds of investigators around the world at renowned academic institutions and not-for-profit research organizations, including Harvard University, Stanford University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), University of California, San Francisco, Oxford University and the University of Sydney. Awards include patented microbiome sequencing kits, as well as research support in study design, planning, sample collection and analysis. To learn more about our award process or to submit a grant proposal, visit http://www.ubiome.com/microbiome-grant-initiative/.

About uBiome
Founded in 2012, uBiome is the leader in microbial genomics. The Company’s mission is to advance the science of the microbiome and make it useful to people. uBiome combines its patented proprietary precision sequencing™ with machine learning and artificial intelligence to develop wellness products, clinical tests, and therapeutic targets. uBiome has filed for over 250 patents on its technology, which includes sample preparation, computational analysis, molecular techniques, as well as diagnostic and therapeutic applications.

uBiome’s commercial products include SmartGut™, the world’s first sequencing-based clinical microbiome test, which identifies microbes in the gut for patients with chronic gut conditions such as IBD, IBS, Crohn’s Disease, and ulcerative colitis; SmartJane™, the first sequencing-based women’s health screening test, which genotypes all 19 clinically relevant strains of HPV, identifies four common STDs, and surveys more than 20 vaginal microbes associated with bacterial vaginosis and other conditions; and Explorer™, a health and wellness product to understand the role that food and lifestyle can play in wellness.

uBiome’s platform has been used by hundreds of thousands of consumers, patients, and doctors and more than 200 research institutions around the world, including the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), US National Institutes of Health (NIH), Harvard University, Stanford University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), University of California, San Francisco, Oxford University, and the University of Sydney.

Since its launch, the company has received widespread recognition including CNN 10: Startups to Watch, the IVY Technology Award, CNN Future 30, and was named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies in Healthcare in 2016 and in Data Science in 2018, as well as a Technology Pioneer from the World Economic Forum in 2018. For more information, visit http://www.uBiome.com.

Read the full story at https://www.prweb.com/releases/ubiome_awards_grant_to_monash_university_in_malaysia_to_explore_microbiomes_of_indigenous_and_hunter_gatherer_communities/prweb16008467.htm.


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