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Announcing the uBiome $100k Microbiome Grant Contest

uBiome to Award Grant of up to $100k for Groundbreaking Microbiome Research

uBiome_Academic_ConsortiumSan Francisco, CA – uBiome, the leading microbial genomics company, is offering talented researchers with big ideas a grant of up to $100,000 of microbiome sampling kits and full 16S laboratory analysis. The goal is to fast-track a study with the greatest potential to affect human health and well-being. The winner will also have access to their own dashboard, enabling them to view and compare the results of their study, as well as being able to download raw data to analyze in any way they like.

The closing date for applications is August 31, 2015.

The 100 trillion cells of the human microbiome offer significant potential for scientific exploration. It is estimated that the human body contains around ten times as many bacterial cells as it does human ones, and a good balance of so-called healthy bacteria keeps potential pathogens at bay, as well as regulating the immune system. Microbes also assist in the digestion of food and help to synthesize vitamins. However the microbiome can also contain less benign bacteria which can play a part in a wide range of health conditions such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease, diabetes, skin conditions, heart health, and autoimmune disorders.

Researchers at academic institutions wishing to apply for the uBiome grant contest should visit

Jessica Richman, co-founder and CEO of uBiome, says they are seeking explorers. “We are looking for researchers to boldly sail off into uncharted waters in a spirit of curiosity and adventure. We’re excited about enabling gifted researchers to propel their research forward. Projects will be evaluated based on their relevance to high-impact applications in human health.”

uBiome is keen to encourage research in innovative areas. For instance it has recently announced a joint study with OpenBiome to study the microbiome of patients undergoing Fecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT) as a treatment for Clostridium difficile infections as well as a partnership with PicnicHealth to study Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Dr. Zachary Apte, CTO and co-founder of uBiome, says the winning grant applicant will enjoy access to the company’s state-of-the-art laboratory. “uBiome’s microbiome sequencing service is based on research from the NIH Human Microbiome Project. We extract the bacterial DNA from samples, then identify the bacteria using 16S sequencing and custom bioinformatics. Broadly applying this technology will advance the science of the human microbiome.”

The Human Microbiome Project (HMP) was sponsored by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The HMP began in 2008 as a five-year feasibility study with a budget of $150 million, carried out in a number of centers around the US. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy also recently issued a request for experts to help them understand the promise of microbiome research.

uBiome was founded in 2012 and has received funding from Y Combinator, Andreesen Horowitz, and other investors. The company is headquartered in San Francisco. uBiome’s scientific advisory board includes Dr. Joseph DeRisi, HHMI Professor of Biochemistry at the University of California at San Francisco and Macarthur Genius Award Winner; Dr. Jonathan Eisen, Leading Microbiome Researcher and Professor of Microbiology at the University of California, Davis; Dr. Larry Smarr, Leading Quantified Self Researcher and Professor of Computer Science at the University of California, San Diego, and many other noted researchers.

All researchers interested in the uBiome grant contest are invited to submit their proposals at


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