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uBiome Awards Groundbreaking Grant to University of Denver to Study the Role of the Microbiome in Perinatal Depression
Date:11/16/2018

Through its Microbiome Grant Initiative, uBiome, the leader in microbial genomics, has awarded microbiome research support in study design, planning, sample collection, and analysis to team of researchers at University of Denver led by Dr. Elysia Davis, PhD, to study associations between maternal depressive symptoms, infant cognitive/behavioral development, and the gut microbiome.

The goal of the study is to examine the association between the gut microbiome composition, maternal mood during pregnancy and postpartum, and infant brain and behavioral development in the first 12 months of life. Researchers also plan to study the effects of reducing maternal depression using interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) on the microbiome of the infant, and the relations between infant microbiome and mechanisms associated with the development of mood and anxiety disorders later in life.

Data collected from the study will include microbiome composition from uBiome’s patented kits, mood and cognitive function, diet, medication and antibiotic exposure, and maternal and infant body composition data. Researchers hope this study will provide insight into possible prevention and treatment of maternal depression, one of the most common prenatal complications and strongest contributor to child psychopathologies, including anxiety and depression.

“The research linking the gut microbiome with mood and behavior is rapidly expanding, however limited data on the role of the gut microbiome in perinatal depression and in brain development and behavior is available,” said Jessica Richman, PhD, co-founder and CEO of uBiome. “We are excited to support the University of Denver in their pursuit to expand the research in this area.“

Dr. Elysia Davis, PhD, is a professor of Psychology at University of Denver. She additionally holds appointments as an adjunct professor at the University of Colorado Denver, and an associate researcher of Psychiatry & Human Behavior at the University of California Irvine. Her research is supported by the National Institute of Mental Health and she has published papers on various neuroscience and psychology topics.

About the grant, Dr. Davis said: “The extraordinary pace of brain development during fetal and early life by far outpaces any other period of the lifespan. However, we know very little about the role of the gut microbiome in brain development during this critical developmental period. Support from uBiome provides an exciting opportunity to investigate the impact of prenatal maternal depression on the gut microbiome and subsequent implications for infant brain development.”

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/.

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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.

Read the full story at https://www.prweb.com/releases/ubiome_awards_groundbreaking_grant_to_university_of_denver_to_study_the_role_of_the_microbiome_in_perinatal_depression/prweb15915386.htm.


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