Bioinformatics as the main protagonist of the microbiome field

Speaker: Dr. Daniel Almonacid

The human microbiome, the microorganisms that live in and on the human body, is one of the most diverse ecosystems on Earth. Our mission at uBiome is to advance the science of the microbiome and make useful products that improve human life. The company’s technological platform is based on the largest microbial dataset in the world (over 300,000 samples), allowing us unprecedented coverage of the microbial diversity across multiple sites of the human body. Using nucleotide sequencing, including our own approach called Precision Sequencing TM, bioinformatics, and machine learning methods, we are developing precision medicine solutions based on microbiome information, empowering doctors, patients, and citizen scientists to improve their quality of life.

Our current portfolio goes from tools for citizens scientists to study their own microbial communities (Explorer TM), to screening tests that can inform doctors of conditions associated with intestinal health (SmartGut TM) and vaginal health (SmartJane TM). The information generated with these analyses allow us continuous improvement of these products.  Additionally, we continually monitor the scientific literature to add new targets as well as novel correlations in our tests. Moreover, the sequencing information combined with the metadata collected from patients has allowed us to discover novel correlations between the microbiome and host conditions, some of which we have been able to understand mechanistically. This knowledge has presented uBiome with the opportunity to in silico design and test drugs that target the microbiome (drugs for bugs), drugs that are naturally produced by the microbiota to modulate the host (drugs from bugs), in addition to identifying and testing potential live biotherapeutics for different health conditions (bugs as drugs).

In this talk I will provide an overview of the work that we are currently doing at uBiome, emphasizing the use of reproducible approaches (both in the laboratory and bioinformatics).  This talk will also highlight the road that uBiome is taking from the research and implementation of clinical tests, toward the development of therapeutics products, having bioinformatics as the main protagonist.

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