uBiome Awards Grant to the Institute of Health and Environmental Research to Study Influence of Diet on Gut Microbiome in Autism Spectrum Disorder

Tuesday, April 2, 2019 Research News
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The Institute will use the grant to investigate diet-induced microbiome changes in children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

SAN FRANCISCO, April 2, 2019 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- uBiome has awarded microbiome research support in study design, planning,

sample collection, and analysis to a team of researchers at the Institute of Health and Environmental Research led by Dr. Kyle Fluegge, PhD, MPH, to study the effects of a diet of sprouted grains on microbiome composition and ASD symptoms.

The goal of the study is to quantify possible reductions in gut permeability from short-term consumption of sprouted grains in individuals diagnosed with ASD and investigate whether these gut changes co-occur with microbiome alterations that alleviate common ASD symptoms. Researchers believe studying these factors may lead to insights into whether the nutritional advantages of sprouting grains translates into clinical benefit in neurological disorders, including ASD.

The data collected from each participant will include gut microbiome composition using uBiome's patented kits, intestinal permeability, gastrointestinal symptoms, and an individual's Autism rating, which assesses behavior and severity of symptoms.

"This study is important because it seeks to expand the knowledge about manipulating diet to alleviate key symptoms in a disorder that increasingly affects so many," said Jessica Richman, PhD, co-founder and CEO of uBiome. "We are excited to support the Institute of Health and Environmental Research for this research."

Since 2016, Dr. Kyle Fluegge, PhD, MPH, has been a health economist at the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in New York City. His current research interest involves evaluation of public health, such as chronic disease care management, and therapeutic interventions, such as medical nutrition, using standard measures applied in economic evaluations.

About the grant, Dr. Fluegge said, "The Institute of Health and Environmental Research is proud to partner with uBiome to carry out an original research project at the nexus of agriculture and health. Our collaboration connects the unconventional consumption of functionally-active foods with the restoration of microbiome health and diversity, which may alleviate symptoms of mental health disorders, like autism. uBiome's highly innovative technology offers a major step forward in the scientific community's push towards precision medicine and as a result, our research will provide patients and their families with critical insight of an individual modifiable risk factor that can help to ameliorate psychiatric disease severity."

The grant was made possible through uBiome's Microbiome Grant Initiative. The Microbiome Grant Initiative 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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