Researcher receives uBiome Grant

Dr Maude Phipps

Dr Maude Phipps, Professor of Human Molecular Genetics at the Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences was awarded microbiome research support in sample collection, and analysis.  The grant from uBiome’s Microbiome Grant Initiative, will allow Prof Phipps and her team to study the association of health, diet and cultural practices in Southeast Asian hunter-gatherers and indigenous tribes.

“My team and I are honored to receive this award and to collaborate with uBiome. We have engaged three tribes who have consented to come on board and work with us. Microbiome research in indigenous communities is understudied and no doubt the discoveries to be made will be beneficial to the global community,” Professor Phipps shared.

The goal of the study is to characterise the microbiomes of the indigenous people of Peninsular Malaysia known as Orang Asli and the Negrito hunter-gatherers and explore the relationship of the microbiome to diet and lifestyle practices. Being the first study of its kind, researchers hope this investigation into communities who largely depend on the forest for resources will advance elucidation of mechanisms involved in health, disease, and adaptation.

Data collected from the study will include microbiome composition from uBiome’s patented kits, as well as body measurements, diet, olfactory features and cardiometabolic risk indicators such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and hypertension.

“Dr Phipps and her team are contributing to expanding uBiome’s microbiome database – the largest in the world – to include a greater diversity,” said Dr Jessica Richman, co-founder and CEO of uBiome. “uBiome is proud to support this novel investigation of underrepresented southeastern Asian indigenous populations.”

Professor Phipps is an active member of the Human Genome Organization and the UNESCO Bioethics program. Dr. Phipps is co-chair of the Policy Review Board of the Pan-Asia SNP Initiative and past Vice President of the Genetics Society of Malaysia.

About the grant

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 organisations, 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.

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. For more information, visit http://www.uBiome.com.