uBiome Awards Grant to Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán to Study the Vaginal Microbiome in Women Who Have Sex With Women, First of its Kind
SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 05, 2019
SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 05, 2019 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Through its Microbiome Grant Initiative, uBiome, the leader in microbial genomics, has awarded microbiome research support in planning, sample collection, and analysis to researchers at Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán led by Dr. Laura Conde-Ferráez, PhD, to study the vaginal microbiome of women who have sex with women (WSW).
The goal of the study is to characterize the composition of the vaginal microbiome and its relationship with sexual practices in WSW and determine the frequency of sexually transmitted infection in this group, including the relative abundance of taxa related to bacterial vaginosis. Researchers hope this study will be the first of many to improve the visibility of WSWs as an at-risk group and to inform future healthcare programs and public health policies for this minority population.
Data collected from the study will include vaginal microbiome composition from uBiome's patented kits, age, and sexual practices.
"uBiome is proud to offer support for this study, which will likely have implications for the sexual health of this understudied population," said Jessica Richman, PhD, co-founder and CEO of uBiome. "As the first study of its kind in Mexico and Latin America, this study will begin to close the knowledge gap of vaginal microbiome associations."
Since 2008, Dr. Conde-Ferráez has been a professor and researcher at the Center for Regional Research in the Biomedical Unit at the Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán. Her research focus is infectious disease, virology, and women's sexual and reproductive health. She has been a member of the National System of Researchers since 2011, directs and co-directs undergraduate and postgraduate theses, and has authored nearly 40 scientific articles.
About the grant, Dr. Conde-Ferráez said, "Our research group is very excited about the grant, which will allow us to contribute to knowledge and hopefully to the health of this understudied population, considered as 'invisible' to public health programs. In Mexico and Latin America in general, there have been very limited contributions to this field of research. We hope to set the basis of multidisciplinary approaches for a better understanding of the particular needs and risks of WSW, and for more inclusive health promotion strategies."
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/.
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.