Biocodex Microbiota Foundation Awards Grants to Two Innovative Researchers in the Microbiome Field

North American Drs. Singh and Fernandez will use the grants from the Biocodex Research Foundation to field new research that examines dietary interactions with the gut microbiome in gastrointestinal disorders

The Biocodex Microbiota Foundation (BMF), an organization founded by Biocodex North America and dedicated to inspiring scientific projects that explore the structure of microbiota, has announced two winners – Dr. Rashim Singh from the United States and Dr. Alberto Caminero Fernandez from Canada – in its first-ever call for proposals to study dietary interactions with microbiota. Each of the winners will receive grants from the foundation to fund their microbiota research projects.

Dr. Singh, with the University of Houston’s pharmacological and pharmaceutical sciences department, was awarded the grant for her project, “Flavonoids and microbiome interactions via triple recycling and their roles in food-borne carcinogen-induced colorectal cancer.” Dr. Singh’s study will investigate the role of gut microbiome and its constitution in the increased risk of colorectal cancer (CRC), and the potential for flavonoids to counteract that risk. “The results of this study would be critical towards understanding the flavonoid-microbiome interaction and its role in the prevention of CRC caused by the dietary carcinogens,” Singh writes in her research proposal.

Dr. Fernandez, with Ontario Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute, McMaster University, was awarded the grant for his project, “The role of commensal microbiota on dietary tryptophan metabolism: Implications for inflammatory bowel disease.” In the research project, Dr. Fernandez will isolate and characterize microbes involved in tryptophan metabolism from patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and from healthy controls. “Our long-term goal is to develop combinations of bacteria that act on tryptophan dietary sources and produce AhR agonists to prevent and treat IBD,” he writes in his proposal.

Biocodex, a global pharmaceutical company and maker of the probiotic Florastor®, has been a leading researcher and provider in the microbiota field for the last 60 years. As the company continues to evolve, more emphasis has been placed on increasing awareness and placing reputable data at the fingertips of both consumers and healthcare professionals. To push this initiative forward, Biocodex launched in tandem the Biocodex Microbiota Foundation and the Biocodex Microbiota Institute (BMI) in June of 2017. Together, these two entities will help advance research and our understanding of the human microbiota and gut flora – work that’s sorely needed in the United States and around the world. In fact, healthcare professionals reported to the BMI that only 10 percent of the American population discuss flora and gut health with their doctors and pharmacists.

The Biocodex Microbiota Foundation’s annual call for projects is part of a multi-year research initiative to understand the interaction between microbiota and different pathologies. The grants favor young investigators and may be applied to a new or an existing ongoing study.

The applications were reviewed and the winners chosen by BMF’s scientific boards, comprised of Dr. Ruth Ann Luna from Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine, Dr. Emeran Mayer from University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Dr. Daniel Merenstein from Georgetown University, Dr. Leo Dieleman from University of Alberta and Dr. Elena Verdu from McMaster University.

The Biocodex Microbiota Foundation will be continuing the grant initiative each year, and the call for projects will be opening up again in Spring 2018. For more information, visit