News Archive

News Releases from 2017

Search by year:

Improving prediction accuracy of Crohn's disease based on repeated fecal sampling

Researchers at the University of California San Diego Center for Microbiome Innovation (CMI) have found that sampling the gut microbiome over time can provide insights that are not available with a single time point. The findings could help doctors and researchers more accurately determine if a patient has Crohn's disease. The findings were published as a letter in Gut on October 21, 2017. Full Story

UC San Diego Center for Microbiome Innovation Announces Pfizer as Corporate Member

Pfizer has joined the UC San Diego Center for Microbiome Innovation as a platinum-level industry sponsor. According to Center director Rob Knight, this relationship aims to build on recent evidence connecting the microbiome to drug response and, together with our other partners in microbiome methods and data science, will potentially help us move from reading out changes in the microbiome to using it to improve patient care. Pfizer will have the opportunity to influence the research directions of the Center by holding two seats on the corporate member board, as well as having regular communication with the center team of experts.  Full Story

Mapping the Microbiome of' Everything

In the Earth Microbiome Project, an extensive global team co-led by researchers at University of California San Diego, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory collected more than 27,000 samples from numerous, diverse environments around the globe. They analyzed the unique collections of microbes — the microbiomes — living in each sample to generate the first reference database of bacteria colonizing the planet. Thanks to newly standardized protocols, original analytical methods and open data-sharing, the project will continue to grow and improve as new data are added.  Full Story

The Microbial Anatomy of an Organ

​University of California San Diego researchers have developed the first 3D spatial visualization tool for mapping “’omics” data onto whole organs. The tool helps researchers and clinicians understand the effects of chemicals, such as microbial metabolites and medications, on a diseased organ in the context of microbes that also inhabit the region. The work could advance targeted drug delivery for cystic fibrosis and other conditions where medications are unable to penetrate. Full Story

Ants that live in the Amazon rainforest canopy have orders of magnitude more bacteria in their guts than those that live on the ground

UC San Diego Center for Microbiome Innovation (CMI) researchers and colleagues on the East Coast have for the first time quantified the number of bacteria in the guts of a broad range of ant species in the Amazon rainforest. They found that the primarily herbivorous ants that live in the canopy have orders of magnitude more bacteria than those that live on the ground. The work has implications for the way microbiome studies are conducted. The authors published the study July 27 in Integrative and Comparative Biology. Full Story

Model predicts how E. coli bacteria adapt under stress

Researchers at UC San Diego have developed a genome-scale model that can accurately predict how E. coli bacteria respond to temperature changes and genetic mutations. The work sheds light on how cells adapt under environmental stress and has applications in precision medicine, where adaptive cell modeling could provide patient-specific treatments for bacterial infections.  Full Story

IBM Research and UC San Diego Collaborate to Advance the Use of Artificial Intelligence for Healthy Living

IBM (NYSE: IBM) and the University of California San Diego have announced a multi-year project to enhance quality of life and independence for aging populations through the new Artificial Intelligence for Healthy Living Center (AIHL), located on the campus of UC San Diego. The groundbreaking center will bring together the technology, artificial intelligence and life sciences knowledge of IBM and UC San Diego to promote critical research and applications in two thematic areas: Healthy Aging and the Human Microbiome. Full Story

Good Bugs v. Bad Bugs: New breakthroughs in Microbiome Technology

San Diego, Calif., September 20, 2017 - The second in a series on disruptive technology, Good Bugs v. Bad Bugs was put on by the MIT Enterprise Forum San Diego on September 20, 2017 at Knobbe Martens in San Diego, and featured Rob Knight, professor of pediatrics and computer science and engineering and director of the Center for Microbiome Innovation at UC San Diego, Richard Gallo, MD, Ph.D., chair of the department of dermatology at the UC San Diego School of Medicine and Mark S. Wilson, co-founder and CEO of MatriSys Bioscience, Inc.  Full Story

The Patentbiome of Microbiomes

On September 6, the UC San Diego Center for Microbiome Innovation (CMI) hosted a Patent & Pizza Seminar on the topic, "The Patentbiome of Microbiomes", in partnership with the UC San Diego Office of Innovation and Commercialization.  Full Story

CMI Researchers Receive Grant to Address Grand Challenges in Microbiome Science

UC San Diego Center for Microbiome Innovation (CMI) researchers have been awarded $140,000 to address one of the grand challenges in microbiome science workflows – establishing standards for validating microbiome-focused workflows and enabling robust meta-analyses. The grant was awarded by CMI and was made possible in partnership with BASF, Biota, Illumina, Janssen and QIAGEN. Full Story

Help UC San Diego Scientists Study Link between Body Bacteria and Autoimmune Diseases

The public's help is being enlisted in the Microbiome Immunity Project, what's thought to be the biggest study to date of the human microbiome — the communities of bacteria and other microbes that live in and on the human body, where they influence our health.  Full Story

What's Your Gut Instinct?

It’s no secret that diet, exercise, medicine usage, and other habits affect your health and lifestyle, but how they do so is different for everyone. The Internet is filled with opinions on the matter. A quick Google search on “how do diet, exercise, medicine usage, and other habits affect your health and lifestyle” yields more than 3,000,000 results! A new project at UC San diego has set out to help alleviate some of the confusion by creating an educational platform for people to ask and answer gut health-related questions. Full Story

Drug-delivering micromotors treat their first bacterial infection in the stomach

Nanoengineers at the University of California San Diego have demonstrated for the first time using micromotors to treat a bacterial infection in the stomach. These tiny vehicles, each about half the width of a human hair, swim rapidly throughout the stomach while neutralizing gastric acid and then release their cargo of antibiotics at the desired pH.  Full Story

2017 Massry Prize Honors Microbiome Research Pioneers

Microbiome researchers Rob Knight, PhD, University of California San Diego, Jeffrey Gordon, MD, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and Norman Pace, PhD, University of Colorado Boulder, will share this year’s Massry Prize, splitting the $200,000 honorarium. These researchers lead a field that works to produce a detailed understanding of microbiomes — distinct constellations of bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms that live within and around us — and methods for manipulating microbiomes for the benefit of human and environmental health.The Meira and Shaul G. Massry Foundation established the Massry Prize in 1996 to recognize outstanding contributions to the biomedical sciences and the advancement of health. The nonprofit foundation promotes education and research in nephrology, physiology and related fields. Shaul Massry, MD, is professor emeritus at the Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California. The Massry Prize Lectures, which the winners give every year, are held on the USC Health Sciences campus. This year’s lectures are scheduled for October 2017. Twelve Massry Prize recipients have gone on to win Nobel Prizes. Full Story

Scientists at the UC San Diego Center for Microbiome Innovation invent new tool for the Synthetic Biologist's toolbox

Researchers at the University of California San Diego have invented a new method for controlling gene expression across bacterial colonies. The method involves engineering dynamic DNA copy number changes in a synchronized fashion. The results were published in the July 10, 2017 online edition of Nature Genetics. Full Story

Stool Microbes Predict Advanced Liver Disease

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) — a condition that can lead to liver cirrhosis and cancer — isn’t typically detected until it’s well advanced. Even then, diagnosis requires an invasive liver biopsy. To detect NAFLD earlier and more easily, researchers in the NAFLD Research Center ( at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, Human Longevity, Inc. and the J. Craig Venter Institute report that the unique microbial makeup of a patient’s stool sample — or gut microbiome — can be used to predict advanced NAFLD with 88 to 94 percent accuracy.  Full Story

UC San Diego Biologists Discover Timesharing Strategy in Bacteria

Biologists at the University of California San Diego have discovered that, when food becomes scarce, communities of bacteria employ a time-sharing strategy. The findings are published April 6 in the journal Science. Full Story

Transplanting Good Bacteria to Kill Staph

UC San Diego School researchers screened 10,000 colonies of bacteria found on the epidermis to determine how many had antimicrobial properties and at what rate these are found on healthy and non-healthy skin. In a paper published February 22 in Science Translational Medicine, the team reports isolating and growing good bacteria that produce antimicrobial peptides and successfully transplanting it to treat patients with the most common type of eczema, known as atopic dermatitis. Full Story

Shedding Light on Cancer Diversity and Resistance

A paradigm-changing study by cancer researchers and computer scientists at the University of California San Diego and other institutions found that short fragments of circular DNA that encode cancer genes are far more common in cancer cells than previously believed. Published online in the journal Nature, the study also concluded that the circular DNA probably plays a central role in generating the cellular diversity that makes advanced cancers so difficult to treat. The new findings are likely to change the way tumor evolution is understood by scientists and could ultimately lead to new ways to prevent and treat many malignancies. Full Story

Computer Scientist Receives Major Award from Computational Biology Society

The International Society of Computational Biology (ISCB) has announced the winners of its top four awards for 2017, and leading the list is UC San Diego computer-science professor Pavel Pevzner. The Accomplishments by a Senior Scientist Award honors Pevzner's almost 30 years in the field of bioinformatics, and in particular his significant contributions to research and education.  Full Story

Teaching Computers to recognize Sick Guts: Machine-Learning and the Microbiome

A new proof-of-concept study by researchers from the University of California San Diego succeeded in training computers to “learn” what a healthy versus an unhealthy gut microbiome looks like based on its genetic makeup. Since this can be done by genetically sequencing fecal samples, the research suggests there is great promise for new diagnostic tools that are, unlike blood draws, non-invasive.  Full Story

CMI Industry Sponsors