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College of Human Sciences

Optimizing Human Performance


uBiome awards grant to study dietary intervention on bone health in men

The original press release can be viewed here.

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 researchers at Florida State University led by Ms. Elizabeth Foley, PhD Candidate, to study microbial community structure and bone health in older men with regular prune consumption.

elizabeth foley

The goal of the study is to evaluate the changes in microbial populations which occur with prune consumption in osteopenic men and correlate the changes in bone and inflammatory biomarkers that occur with changes in microbial communities. Because polyphenols and fiber found in prunes are shown to benefit gut microbial diversity, researchers hypothesize that prune consumption in men with low bone mass will improve the gut microbiome, gastrointestinal function, and bone biomarkers.

Data collected from the study will include microbiome composition from uBiome’s patented kits, stool frequency, bone mineral density (BMD) of the lumbar region of the spine, anthropometrics, medical history, and blood samples.

“This study has the potential to provide a better understanding of the aging process through the use of supplementing polyphenols and prebiotic fiber,“ said Jessica Richman, PhD, co-founder and CEO of uBiome. “We are proud to support Florida State University in this investigation.”

Ms. Foley is the Development and Media Student Chair for the Center for Advancing Exercise and Nutrition Research on Aging and a Functional Anatomy and Physiology teaching assistant in the Department of Nutrition, Food and Exercise Sciences in the College of Human Sciences at Florida State University. Ms. Foley is mentored by Dr. Bahram Arjmandi, PhD, Director of the Center for Advancing Exercise and Nutrition Research on Aging and a professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food and Exercise Sciences, for this study. He has published over 125 articles in renowned journals including Journal of Aging Research, Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and Osteoporosis International.

About the grant, Ms. Foley said, “We know that prunes are good for bone health, but we aren’t sure about the exact mechanism. This study can help us further understand the role of the microbiome as it relates to bone, specifically when people are supplementing prunes for bone health. We’re incredibly thankful to uBiome for this grant, as it is integral to the completion of my dissertation.”

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/

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.