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How the uBiome Challenge Could Improve Microbial Genomics & Patient Outcomes

Sponsored by uBiome. Learn how to submit your entry to the uBiome Clinical Outcomes in Microbial Genomics Innovation Challenge.

While long considered a mystery, recent research is showing that the microbiome has been found to influence nearly every organ system in the body. As clinical applications are still in the early stage, microbial genomics leader uBiome hopes to expand the depth of clinical research being conducted to enhance the scope of knowledge about the microbiome and its impact on our health. To support this outcome, they have launched the uBiome Clinical Outcomes in Microbial Genomics Innovation Challenge, where they will partner with researchers to advance clinical outcomes through the use of their microbiome tests.

The uBiome Challenge is accepting submissions from clinicians who wish to develop their own clinical study using microbial genomics. The best ideas and research proposals could earn in-kind support from uBiome, including sample kits, sequencing and bioinformatics microbiome analysis services, and clinical research consulting.

“This is where medicine is going,” said Dr. Mike Hoaglin, M.D., a physician in Medical Affairs at uBiome. “Microbiome science is now being implemented and applied in clinical practice, and we’re discovering more and more biomarkers in the microbiome. Given its exposure to our food and environments, the microbiome may one day be thought of as a type of ‘medical record’ in the future.”

So far, uBiome has received a number of strong ideas from clinicians in academic medical centers and other healthcare organizations worldwide. The entries span multiple medical specialties, targeting everything from the microbiome’s effects on disease and weight loss to sexually transmitted infections.

“It’s straightforward for investigators to add microbiome data points to clinical research studies,” Hoaglin, who’s also a contest judge, said. “Once ordered by a clinician as part of the study, uBiome can mail home-based microbiome sampling kits to participants, and the participants mail the kits directly back to uBiome.”

Judges plan to analyze each research proposal based on its impact and significance, quality of the study design and its feasibility and potential.

Innovations surrounding microbial genomics have the potential to affect large patient populations, filling critical clinical gaps.

For instance, the microbiome may provide a path toward predicting how a patient might react to a treatment or medication.

“Especially in oncology, treatments can be very expensive and very harsh on the body,” Hoaglin said. “The fact that the microbiome may be a way to study whether patients should be taking certain medications is powerful.”

Entrants must be clinicians or involved in clinical research. They also need a great idea, along with access to patients and an institutional review board. (uBiome can help investigators gain access to an IRB if necessary.)

uBiome is accepting research proposals from clinicians who work in clinical settings such as:

  • Academic medical centers
  •  Community hospitals
  • Residency and fellowship programs
  • Private group practices
  • Solo and concierge practices
  • Rehabilitation and nursing facilities

Do you have what it takes to improve clinical microbiome science? Submit your innovative idea today.

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