uBiome Awards Grant to University of Tasmania to Study Association Between Gut Microbiota and Cognitive Decline

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The leader in microbial genomics awards grant to team of researchers at University of Tasmania to investigate the potential influence of the microbiota on cognitive decline and dementia.

"We are extremely appreciative of the generous award from uBiome, which will enable us to start addressing this knowledge gap. As we age, the likelihood of developing dementia increases; given that globally the population is aging, this research is imperative.” - Dr. Ziebell, PhD

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 University of Tasmania led by Dr. Jenna Ziebell, PhD, to study the potential correlation between gut microbiota, cognitive function, and stress.

The goal of the study is to determine the gut microbiota composition of community-dwelling individuals living with dementia, their spousal carers, and age-matched spousal carers of individuals with other chronic illnesses. The team plans to correlate gut microbiota to cognitive function and stress and identify clusters of gut microbiota that may be protective or harmful to cognitive function. Because carers of individuals living with dementia are six times more likely to develop dementia themselves, researchers hypothesize that increased Alzheimer’s disease (AD) risk and cognitive decline is associated with an inflammatory microbiome in caregivers.

Data collected from the study will include microbiome composition from uBiome’s patented kits of both the individual diagnosed with dementia or AD and their caregiver, diet, medications, cortisol levels, and cognitive tests such as IQ, episodic visuospatial memory and learning, short-term memory, working memory, and memory capacity.

“The role of the gut microbiota in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia is an exciting area of research uBiome is proud to support,” said Jessica Richman, PhD, co-founder and CEO of uBiome. “We are honored to collaborate with University of Tasmania researchers for this remarkable study.”

Dr. Ziebell is a lecturer in the Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre. Her research interests include the role of microglia in health, aging, and disease. She has over 10 years of laboratory experience focuses on inflammatory pathways in neurological diseases. Dr. Ziebell was previously associated with the Translational Neurotrauma Program in Phoenix, AZ and the University of Arizona Phoenix Children’s Hospital, the University of Adelaide, and the University of Kentucky.

About the grant, Dr. Ziebell said, “The team and I are excited to investigate the potential link between dementia and gut biome. We are extremely appreciative of the generous award from uBiome, which will enable us to start addressing this knowledge gap. As we age, the likelihood of developing dementia increases; given that globally the population is aging, this research is imperative.”

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/.

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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.

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