uBiome Appoints Renowned Infectious Disease Epidemiologist, Dr. Jennifer Balkus, to its Scientific Advisory Board

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The world's leading microbial genomics company appoints an expert infectious disease epidemiologist to its board of scientific advisors.

"SmartJane has the potential to reduce barriers to accessing care and treatment by enabling at-home sampling. Highly sensitive, easy-to-use diagnostic tools are a critical step in improving reproductive and sexual health for all women.” -- Dr. Jennifer Balkus

uBiome, the leading company in microbial genomics, announces the addition of Dr. Jennifer Balkus, a Seattle-based research doctor and infectious disease epidemiologist, to its Scientific Advisory Board. Joining the board of leading scientists and doctors from around the U.S., Dr. Balkus will bring to uBiome her extensive research experience in women's health, particularly the vaginal microbiome and its effect on reproductive health. The appointment will help uBiome continue its advancement in human microbiome research.

“Dr. Balkus' important work as an infectious disease epidemiologist is truly inspiring,” said Dr. Jessica Richman, PhD, co-founder and CEO of uBiome. “Together, we share the view that at-home self-sampling tools, when used in the proper medical context, like our SmartJane™ kit, are essential to the advancement of women's reproductive and sexual health. Dr. Balkus is making great strides in overall women's health research and it is an honor to welcome her to the uBiome Scientific Advisory Board.”

Dr. Balkus' research focuses on vaginal health and the prevention of sexually transmitted infections. As an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Washington School of Public Health, she conducts research on the effect of the vaginal microbiome on adverse health outcomes in women. Currently, she serves as the Associate Director of the Statistical and Data Management Center for the Microbicide Trials Network, a National Institute of Health-supported research network.

About joining uBiome's Scientific Advisory Board, Dr. Balkus said, “As an infectious disease epidemiologist that focuses on vaginal health, I was excited by the prospect of a multi-purpose technology that could efficiently detect infections that are common in young women in the United States and across the world. SmartJane has the potential to reduce barriers to accessing care and treatment by enabling at-home sampling. Highly sensitive, easy-to-use diagnostic tools are a critical step in improving reproductive and sexual health for all women.”

SmartJane is the first doctor-ordered, at-home women’s health test that can detect multiple vaginal microorganisms. With uBiome's patented precision sequencing technology, SmartJane is the first test to combine human papillomavirus (HPV) genotyping, sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing, and microbial risk factors for HPV infection, as well as to provide microbial correlations with health conditions like bacterial vaginosis, cervicitis, idiopathic infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease, bacterial vaginosis, and aerobic vaginitis. Interested individuals can request a test through their healthcare provider or by visiting https://ubiome.com/clinical/smartjane/

About uBiome:
Founded in 2012, uBiome is the world’s leading microbial genomics company, with a mission to explore important research questions and develop reliable, accurate products and services focused on the microbiome. uBiome is funded by Y Combinator, Andreessen Horowitz, and 8VC, as well as other leading investors, and has received widespread recognition including the 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.
http://www.ubiome.com

Media Contact:
Lelle Henrichsen
lelle.henrichsen(at)ubiome.com

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Lelle Henrichsen
uBiome
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