uBiome Awards Grant to Australian National University to Study the Association Between Personality Disorders and the Gut Microbiome

Tuesday, March 5, 2019 General News
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The leader in microbial genomics awards grant to team of researchers at Australian National University to investigate the relationship between mental illness and the gut microbiome.

SAN FRANCISCO, March 5, 2019 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- uBiome, the leader in microbial genomics, has awarded microbiome research

support in study design, planning, sample collection, and analysis to researchers at Australian National University (ANU) led by Dr. Linda Thomas, PhD, Visiting Fellow at the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, and Dr. Brett Lidbury, PhD, Associate Professor at the National Centre for Epidemiology and Public Health, to study the association between Borderline Personality Disorder and the gut microbiome.

The goal of the study is to profile the gut microbiome of individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder and compare with control groups of individuals diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder and individuals with no current mental or physical illnesses. In addition, researchers will investigate whether dietary intervention with prebiotic and probiotic formulations are reflected in the microbiome and assist in reducing Borderline Personality Disorder or Major Depressive Disorder in participants. The team hopes that this research will help inform mental health policy in relation to intervening in emotional distress and suicidality, improving both care and treatment.

Data collected from the study will include microbiome composition from uBiome's patented kits, physical and mental health assessment, saliva samples, and self-reported mood symptoms and food intake.

"While research has proven a correlation between mood and the gut microbiome, this is the first study focused particularly on the relationship between Borderline Personality Disorder and the gut microbiome," said Jessica Richman, PhD, co-founder and CEO of uBiome. "We are proud to support Australian National University for this exciting study."

Dr. Thomas is a clinical psychologist and holds a PhD in mucosal immunology with a private practice specializing in the relationship between gut health and mental well-being. She is currently a visiting fellow at the National Centre of Epidemiology and Public Health in the ANU College of Health and Medicine, as well as a clinical associate of the Australian Catholic University. Dr. Thomas has held the academic position of senior lecturer in the disciplines of Medicine, Science, and Psychology. She holds two vaccine patents as well as degrees from the University of Melbourne, Macquarie University, and the University of Canberra, and provides expert opinions for UniSearch at the University of New South Wales. Dr. Thomas is a member of the Explorers Club and a contributor to the Ocean Geographic Society. She is also the recipient of a grant from the University of Minnesota in support of this project. Dr. Thomas is collaborating with Dr. Brett Lindbury, PhD, Associate Professor at the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at ANU, for this study.

About the grant, Dr. Thomas said, "With the help of uBiome in association with the University of Minnesota, this project will elucidate the fundamental relationship between the microbiome and personality, providing us with new ways to 'look within.'"

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/.

_____ 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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