You have trillions of friends. They are bacteria and other microbes in your gut, and all over your body.
This is a good thing -- the microbes are supposed to be there. You need them to be healthy, and they need you to feed them the nutrients they need to thrive. It's a partnership that has been evolving over millions of years, and we are just starting to understand how it works. Our company, Mycrobiomics, was formed in 2015 to make discoveries that will improve human health. We are partnering with creative and inspired scientists at top research institutions. Scientists who see the world a little differently, who challenge long-held beliefs, and who see the big picture.
Our focus is on human gut microbes and what they need from us to help us be healthy, in body and in mind. Our first partnership agreement is with the Mayo Clinic, and we are exploring and open to microbiome research commercialization opportunities, including oral, skin, and genitourinary tract microbiomes. Discoveries will lead to therapeutics, products and services.
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To learn more, to share what you know, or to get involved,
Look outside at a healthy forest or coral reef and you can see the wide variety, the thousands of plant, animal, fungi and other species working together and finding a balance. In the outside world, disruptions like pollution or climate change can lead to many species disappearing, and the overall health of the ecosystem declining.
Your inside world is very similar, except you cannot see the inhabitants. There are thousands of species of microbes that reside mostly in your gut, but are all over the inside and outside of your body. This is your microbiome, sometimes called your microbiota, your ecosystem, or your flora.
While scientists use a variety of definitions and terms, we like this one for human microbiome, coined by Joshua Lederberg in 2001: “the ecological community of commensal, symbiotic, and pathogenic microorganisms that literally share our body space and have been all but ignored as determinants of health and disease.”
These microbes are dependent on each other and on you. As their host, you are healthier if they are diverse and they are getting the nutrients they need. If you treat them well, by feeding your microbe guests real healthy foods, managing your stress, and getting enough sleep, among other good habits, then they treat you well by producing what you need to be healthy (vitamins, essential metabolites, and resistance to pathogens).
If your inner ecosystem is disrupted with antibiotics or unhealthy food in your diet, like a polluted coral reef, many species in your microbiome disappear. Your microbiome then loses diversity, and you, their host, can experience health problems.
Recent research has connected low gut microbial diversity and microbiome dysbiosis (i.e. an altered, unhealthy microbiome) to a range of health problems. These include digestive tract disorders such as as Crohn's disease, colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome, metabolic diseases such as diabetes and obesity, autoimmune diseases such as asthma and Celiac disease, and even neurological diseases such as depression and autism.
The microbiome is an essential organ, and maintaining its health is as important to lifelong wellness as maintaining a healthy heart and lungs.
If you’re intrigued and want to learn more, here are some recommended readings:
MycroFriends is coming soon and will
- help you track your nutrition and lifestyle habits
- help you understand how your gut microbiome works
- help you understand the connections between what you eat, the health and diversity of your microbiome, and your health and energy levels
- offer you general advice and personalized recommendations to improve your gut health and your overall health
- connect you to health professionals who can help you reach your goals
If you are a health professional (e.g. MD, Dietitian, Functional or Integrative Medicine practitioner), scientist, or just actively working on your health and wellness,
about your interest and we’ll keep you updated about MycroFriends.
Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer
George Cigale is the co-founder and CEO of Mycrobiomics, Inc. and is active in life sciences as a Member of the Advisory Council for Johns Hopkins Medicine, Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences, as an Advisor to the American Microbiome Institute, and as a member of the Board of Trustees of The Wild Center.
Previously, George founded Tutor.com and served as its CEO until it was acquired by IAC/InteractiveCorp (NASD: IACI) in 2013. Under George's leadership, Tutor.com became the leading provider of on-demand instructional solutions for students and professionals, with a proprietary technology platform that connects students and professionals to experts for on-demand and personalized help. Students have turned to Tutor.com over 10 million times and counting. George remains active in education by serving as a Trustee on the Board of Columbia University Teachers College, and as a Director on the Boards of Lingo Live and AskWonder.
Before founding Tutor.com, George spent 15 years in education, software, and Internet industries, including executive positions at The Share Group, Adizes Institute, and The Princeton Review. George previously served on the Boards of Poets House and SIIA Education Division, as and Executive in Residence at Columbia University Technology Ventures, and Chaired the National Advisory Council for the Johns Hopkins University School of Education.
George received a BA in Political Science from the State University of New York at Binghamton, and currently lives in Pleasantville, New York, with his wife and three children. His blog can be found at http://ceotutor.blogspot.com/ and tweeting @gcigale.
George takes care of his microbiome by fermenting at home his own kombucha, yogurt, kimchi, and other fermentation projects from time to time. He eats mostly a vegetarian real foods diet with an occasional fish, plays with soil, and avoids processed foods, chemical soaps, and antibiotics.
Harlan F. Weisman, M.D.
Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer
Harlan F. Weisman, M.D. is co-founder, Board Director and Chief Scientific Officer for Mycrobiomics, Inc. He is also Managing Director of And-One Consulting, LLC. Previously, Dr. Weisman was Chairman and CEO of Coronado Biosciences, Inc., a company focused on developing helminthic treatment of patients with immune mediated inflammatory disorders such as Crohn’s Disease, psoriasis and autism by optimizing their intestinal microbiome.
Prior to Coronado, he served over 20 years as a senior executive at Johnson & Johnson including serving as Chief Science and Technology Officer of the J&J Medical Devices Group, Chairman of the J&J Worldwide R&D Council, Company Group Chairman, J&J Pharmaceutical Research & Development, President of Centocor R&D and also served on the board of directors of J&J Development Corporation (JJDC).
Dr. Weisman is on the Board of Governors of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) and on the Board of Directors of ControlRad Systems, 3D Bio Corp, and Hutchison Biofilm Medical Systems. He is an advisor to several investment companies including CRG, the Israel Biotechnology Fund and Claravant Analytics. He is also on advisory committees to the Johns Hopkins Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and BioMotiv, a medical product accelerator company.
Dr. Weisman has authored more than 100 articles and book chapters about cardiovascular disease, medical product development, healthcare policy and organizational development. He is a frequent invited speaker at international meetings on medical innovation, health policy and product development strategy. Before joining industry, Dr. Weisman was Assistant Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Consultant Cardiologist at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Harlan nurtures his microbiome by starting his day with kombucha and yogurt or kefir with fresh berries, and homemade granola made with whole grains, nuts and seeds. He eats a Mediterranean diet comprising fresh organic fruits and vegetables, wild sustainably caught oily fish, occasional organic free-range chicken and he avoids processed foods.
William Daley Bonificio, Ph.D.
Co-Founder and Chief Business Development Officer
William Bonificio, Ph.D. is co-founder and Chief Business Development Officer at Mycrobiomics, Inc. William is the founder of the American Microbiome Institute, a non-profit organization whose mission is to improve human health through microbiome science, research, and education. He also has experience with all stages of business development through his roles as an Entrepreneurship Fellow at Flagship Ventures, and his current role as an associate at RA Capital Management. William has served as an advisor to the startup team of Kaleido Biosciences, a successful microbiome startup. William has a Ph.D. and M.S. from the Harvard University School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and a B.S. from Cornell University.
Bill nourishes his microbiome by trying to eat as much indigestible fiber as our ancient ancestors: 120g each day. He also enjoys any and all fermented food, including his favorite, natto. Finally, he also avoids any foods with antibiotics, and never washes his vegetables.
Co-Founder and Chief Information Officer
Sean Zinsley is co-founder and Chief Information Officer at Mycrobiomics, Inc. Sean began his career at NeoPath Inc, a. A start-up venture that successfully won FDA approval for the AutoPap 300, a fully automated device for the screening of Pap smears to detect cervical cancer.
After NeoPath, Sean led technology teams at several other start up companies including iCat, Visio and Onyx Software. In 2004, Sean joined George Cigale at Tutor.com and formed the company's product management team which he ran for 9 years.
Sean is an active member of the Society for Information Management. He received a B.S. in Biology from the State University of New York at Oneonta. He currently lives in upstate New York with his wife and two cats.
Sean tends his microbiome by fermenting his own pickles, saurekraut, kombucha, apple cider and beer. He enjoys working the soil in his vegetable garden and he avoids antibiotics in all forms.
We are bringing together thought leaders, clinicians, and top researchers in microbiome research, food and nutrition, and health and wellness. Please
if you are interested in joining our venture.
Our senior advisors include the following:
Stephen Desiderio, M.D., Ph.D. — Professor of Microbiology and Genetics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Director of the Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences; Ph.D. and M.D., Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Christopher Gardner, Ph.D.— Professor of Medicine, Stanford University Medicine; Ph.D. Nutrition Science, University of California, Berkeley.
David Goldberg, Ph.D. – Founder and CEO, CSMLearn. Ph.D. in Biology, California Institute of Technology; Post-Doctoral in Molecular Biology, Harvard University and University of Cambridge.
Patrick Hanaway, M.D. — Medical Director, Center for Functional Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic; Chief Medical Education Officer, The Institute for Functional Medicine; Former CMO, Genova Diagnostics; M.D., Washington University.
Purna Kashyap, MBBS — Assistant Professor of Medicine and Physiology, Mayo Clinic. MBBS, Bangalore Medical College.
Gerard Mullin, M.D., M.S.— Associate Professor of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Director, Integrative GI Nutrition Services; M.D. and M.S. from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Author, The Gut Balance Revolution.
Justin Sonnenberg, Ph.D. — Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Stanford University; Ph.D. Biomedical Science, University of California, San Diego. Co-Author, The Good Gut.