uBiome Hires New Vice President of Research and Development: Dr. Audrey Goddard Joins from Genomic Health and Genentech

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Microbial genomics leader, uBiome, welcomes genomics research luminary Dr. Audrey Goddard, Ph.D. to the position of Vice President of Research and Development.

In the past five years or so basic and clinical science have begun to recognize that one of the biggest drivers of both health and disease may come not from our bodies themselves but rather from the ecosystem of microorganisms that make up our microbiome.

uBiome, the world’s leading microbial genomics company is substantially building its in-house research department, starting with the appointment of highly experienced genomics scientist Dr. Goddard as Vice President of Research and Development.

Dr. Goddard brings over 20 years experience to her new role at uBiome. The inventor of over 500 patents in her previous roles, Dr. Goddard specialized in the integration of drug and diagnostic research and development, first at Genentech and then with Genomic Health.

Dr. Goddard earned her Ph.D. in cancer genetics at the University of Toronto, then was a Postdoctoral Fellow at London’s Imperial Cancer Research Fund. She spent thirteen years at Genentech, starting by leading high-throughput DNA sequencing for research and new drug discovery, then applying genomics and genomic technologies to companion diagnostics for oncology drug development. Since she joined Genomic Health ten years ago, she has focused on the application of polymerase chain reaction and next generation sequencing to the discovery and development of both tissue- and liquid biopsy-based precision medicine oncology products.

uBiome uses next generation high-throughput DNA sequencing technology to deliver highly detailed analyses of the human microbiome, the ecosystem of trillions of bacteria that populate the human body.

Bacteria in the gut play critical roles in good health, such as supporting digestion and the synthesis of vitamins. However, pathogenic bacteria are associated with a range of conditions -- some of them serious -- such as celiac disease and inflammatory bowel diseases (including both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis) irritable bowel syndrome, esophageal reflux and esophageal cancer, Clostridium difficile infection, colorectal cancer, and many others. Although the majority of an individual’s bacteria is found in the gut, there are many other sites on the body with their own distinct microbial profiles.

Dr. Goddard says: “I have specialized for over twenty years in the contribution of germline and somatic genomics to human disease, but in the past five years or so basic and clinical science have begun to recognize that one of the biggest drivers of both health and disease may come not from our bodies themselves but rather from the ecosystem of microorganisms that make up our microbiome. One exciting aspect of the microbiome is of course that, unlike the body, it is relatively easy to modify our bacteria. Just like everyone in the genomics sector, I have been following the rapid growth the microbiome field in general and of uBiome in particular, so when Jessica asked me to join them, it was an easy and exciting decision to do so.”

Dr. Jessica Richman, uBiome co-founder and CEO, says: “Dr. Goddard’s appointment represents a step change in uBiome’s growth. Audrey is deeply admired in the genomics field, and we know we couldn’t have made a better choice for the person who will be steering our future research and development.”

Dr. Zachary Apte, uBiome co-founder and CTO, adds: "Dr. Goddard is a proven powerhouse in the clinical genomics industry. Her impressive record of leadership, groundbreaking technology development, and scientific discovery make her an obvious choice to help uBiome in its mission to develop the field of clinical microbial genomics."

uBiome was launched in 2012 by scientists and technologists educated at Stanford and UCSF after a crowdfunding campaign raised over triple its initial goal. The company is now funded by Andreessen Horowitz, Y Combinator, and other leading investors.

uBiome’s mission is to use big data to understand the human microbiome by giving users the power to learn about their bodies, perform experiments, and see how current research studies apply to them.

Contact:
Julie Taylor
julie(at)ubiome(dot)com
Ph: +1 (415) 212-9214

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Julie Taylor
uBiome
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