REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Jan. 29, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The Biocodex Microbiota Foundation (BMF), an organization founded by Biocodex and dedicated to inspiring scientific projects that explore the structure of microbiota, has announced that Dr. Tao Yang is the winner of the 2018 U.S. grant to research the role gut flora plays in the biochemical signaling events that occur between the gastrointestinal tract and the central nervous system. Dr. Yang, an associate in the University of Florida's physiology and functional genomics department, will use the grant to advance his theory that a unique gut microbiota associated with hypertension hinders communication between the gut and the brain plays a key role in the efficacy of antihypertension drugs.
"I am so thankful for this opportunity," says Dr. Yang, who has been studying the relationship between hypertension and gut microbiomes and wants to advance existing research. "People take a lot of medications every day to keep their blood pressure low, and initially, that is what inspired me to pursue this research. My research proposal aims to cure or improve the treatment of hypertension."
According to Dr. Yang, studies have already indicated gut flora impacts hypertension treatment and can even block certain blood pressure drugs' efficacy. "My long-term goal is to find a way to treat resistant hypertension. There might not be one solution – impacts come not only from bacterial changes in the gut but also gene mutations and environmental stress. But if changing the gut microbiome can benefit someone from developing hypertension, or help improve the treatment, that's what I hope to discover."
The Foundation's annual call for projects is part of a multi-year research initiative to understand the interaction between microbiota and different pathologies. Since a growing amount of research shows that changes in the composition of gut flora can sometimes affect brain function, the BMF decided to focus its 2018 U.S. grant on discovering more about the role of microbiota within the gut-brain axis.
The total grant amount is $50,000. Winners were chosen by BMF's scientific board, comprised of Dr. Ruth Ann Luna from Texas Children's Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine, and Dr. Emeran Mayer from University of California Los Angeles and Dr. Erica Sonnenburg from Stanford University.
Biocodex, a pharmaceutical company and maker of Florastor®, has been a leading researcher and provider in the microbiota field for the last 30 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 in June of 2017. Together, these two entities are working to advance research and understanding of the human microbiota and gut flora.
About Biocodex Biocodex is a family-owned, international pharmaceutical research, development, manufacturing and commercial enterprise operating in more than 100 countries. Founded in 1953, the company has been widely recognized for its unique probiotic Saccharomyces boulardii CNCM I-745®, the first probiotic drug of its kind that has a positive effect on the gut's microflora. Today, Biocodex has transformed itself beyond its probiotic drug roots, expanding into therapeutic areas including gastroenterology, pain management, oncology, neurology/psychiatry, rheumatology and otolaryngology. Biocodex is dedicated to providing its customers with meaningful healthcare solutions and remaining responsible to ensure every aspect of their business is conducted with integrity.
About Biocodex Microbiota Foundation The Biocodex Microbiota Foundation's mission is to support research into microbiota and its interaction with various pathologies. Research is supported through grants given to projects that investigate the implication of microbiota in human health. BMF supports both fundamental and applied research, and projects are selected annually by a committee of independent, international scientists.
The BMF's primary activity remains the awarding of annual grants to innovative scientific research projects that explore the structure and impact of microbiota. The BMF also runs and helps establish programs to improve our understanding of microbiota and disseminates this knowledge as widely as possible. Finally, the BMF can establish public projects involving microbiota which aim to help improve human health.
The Biocodex Microbiota Foundation (BMF) is a non-profit, general interest organization.