Stanford Microbiome Pioneer Elisabeth Bik Becomes New Science Editor at uBiome

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Microbial genomics leader uBiome has appointed its first full-time Science Editor Dr. Elisabeth Bik who joins the fast-growing company from Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Bik will continue her editorship of the respected daily Microbiome Digest.

It’s rewarding that there has been such a huge increase in interest in the microbiome recently, but, of course, this has been driven by remarkable research driven by my peers and uBiome.

uBiome, the leading microbial genomics company, has appointed Dr. Elisabeth Bik – who joins the uBiome team in a full-time role from Stanford University School of Medicine – as its new Science Editor. Dr. Bik is regarded by her research peers as one of the world’s authorities on the science of the microbiome. At uBiome, Dr. Bik’s primary focus will be on leading the ongoing publication of scientific findings by the company.

Since 2002, Dr. Bik has been a Research Associate at Stanford University School of Medicine, where she has specialized in the composition of the intestinal microbiota of healthy subjects and those with liver diseases, the microbiota of marine mammals, and isolating and detecting microbial DNA from clinical samples.

Additionally, since 2014, she has been the editor of the highly respected online Microbiome Digest, a daily summary of scientific papers about microbiome and microbiology research, with a considerable readership in the scientific community. Dr. Bik will continue to edit Microbiome Digest as part of her new position with uBiome.

Dr. Bik has authored and co-authored over 30 papers, including the influential Diversity of the Human Intestinal Microbial Flora, which has been cited well over 4,000 times. This ground-breaking research, carried out in collaboration with Stanford’s infectious disease specialist, Dr. Paul B. Eckburg, was published in 2005 – three years before the Human Microbiome Project commenced its work.

Described by the journal Nature as a “sharp-eyed microbiologist,” in April 2016, Dr. Bik worked closely with two editors-in-chief at microbiology journals to conduct an analysis of over 20,000 published microbiology, immunology, cancer research, and general science papers, specifically looking for images that were inappropriately duplicated or altered. Such images were found in 3.8% of the papers analyzed. The reputable website Retraction Watch subsequently described her as a “behind-the-scenes force in scientific integrity.”

After receiving her PhD at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, Dr. Bik worked at the Dutch National Institute for Health, and the St. Antonius Hospital in Nieuwegein, Utrecht in the Netherlands. In 2002, she joined the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Stanford University School of Medicine, where, in May 2016, she was awarded Stanford’s prestigious “Microbiome Pioneer” award for her ongoing contributions to science in editing and publishing Microbiome Digest.

Dr. Bik brings her considerable experience and expertise to uBiome, a pioneer of applying 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.

Dr. Elisabeth Bik, new uBiome Science Editor, says: “As someone who has worked in and around the area for over twenty years, it’s rewarding that there has been such a huge increase in interest in the microbiome recently, but, of course, this has been driven by remarkable research driven by my peers and by uBiome. Publishing is, of course, a cornerstone of science, which is why I’m happy that uBiome is placing such great emphasis on ensuring that its work goes through the rigorous time-tested peer-review process, and I’m delighted that I’ll be enabling them to do so as the new Science Editor.”

Dr. Jessica Richman, co-founder and CEO of uBiome, says: “We’ve long been inspired by Dr. Bik’s work to disseminate information about our field through the Microbiome Digest. We’re delighted to welcome her to our team and thrilled to work with such a respected expert.”

uBiome was founded in 2012 by researchers educated at Stanford, Oxford, and UCSF. The company is funded by Andreessen Horowitz, Y Combinator, and other leading investors.

uBiome’s mission is to explore important research questions about the microbiome and to develop accurate and reliable clinical tests based on the microbiome.

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

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uBiome
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