What we know about our microbiome
Our body is home to thousands upon thousands of different microbial species. In fact, there are more microbial cells than human cells in the body. Each microbial species has a set of specific physiological features (phenotypes), and a combination of these features is key to maintaining optimal health.
Current technologies allow us to identify microbial communities in various body sites that have important physiological functions. We can then analyze and compare multiple microbiome samples to identify health/disease-associated patterns.
Practical problems we are working to solve
How to distinguish a healthy from unhealthy microbiome
How to support a healthy microbiome
How to correct an unhealthy microbiome
The PhenoBiome difference
Our comprehensive platform converts taxonomic signatures (16S) and gene lists (WGS) into microbiome-wide quantitative functional capabilities (phenotypes). A quantitative measure of each phenotype in a microbiome sample is computed on a scale from 0 to 100%. Metabolic phenotypes reflecting the presence or absence of a pathway in all microbes are deduced from parts lists using genome-based in silico reconstruction methodology, which was pioneered and validated by the extensive research of Phenobiome founders over the last two decades.
Our proprietary collection of predicted metabolic phenotypes presently covers manually curated pathways for >100 major nutrients and metabolites across >3,000 reference genomes representing the microbiome. This enables a deeper understanding of how microbes are interacting with the host, each other, and the diet, giving physiological meaning and a science-based path for those looking to actively modulate the microbiome.
Our quantitative assessment of functional differences between thousands of normal and dysbiotic microbiome samples enables us to uncover significant advancements in the way we interpret and use microbiome data. We are currently able to identify species contributing to specific phenotypes, a foundation for rational selection of probiotic candidates. Additionally we can identify nutrients with a potential to shift a microbiome composition from unhealthy to healthy, a foundation for rational development of personalized nutraceutics.
Our novel insights and capabilities have been developed through numerous exploratory and translational studies in the field of microbial genomics, bioinformatics, ecology, physiology, metabolism, and microbe-host interactions. Our scientific team has over 200 publications in high impact, peer-reviewed journals including Science, Science Translational Medicine, PNAS, and New England Journal of Medicine, and we collectively have more than 60 years of academic and industrial research experience.