UBiome is stepping up its R&D activities. The personal microbiome sequencing pioneer has lured ex-Genentech scientist Audrey Goddard away from Genomic Health ($GHDX) to head up the unit.
Goddard spent more than a decade at Genentech, working her way up to the position of associate director for companion diagnostics before jumping ship to Genomic Health, a cancer diagnostics company. At Genomic Health, Goddard rose to the position of VP of research, giving her responsibility for driving forward research into predictive biomarker assays. Now, after 20-plus years working on genomics and diagnostics, Goddard is shifting gears.
“Basic and clinical science have begun to recognize that one of the biggest drivers of both health and disease may come not from our bodies themselves but rather from the ecosystem of microorganisms that make up our microbiome,” Goddard said in a statement. “One exciting aspect of the microbiome is of course that, unlike the body, it is relatively easy to modify our bacteria.”
UBiome made its name as the company that enabled anyone to analyze their own microbiome. The sale of microbiome sampling kits remains the cornerstone of uBiome’s business, but, like 23andMe before it, the company has a growing interest in the research value of the data and testing experience it is accruing. With the appointment of Goddard as VP of research and development, uBiome has put someone well versed in the development of diagnostics at the top of its nascent R&D operation.