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We are an emerging research group studying the human microbiome, in particular the microbiota of the oral cavity. We are a multidisciplinary group, in which every idea is taken into account. We work with the latest technology, at a research center committed to give full support to research in areas related to public health, in a great city to live, full of green areas, close to the beach and with privileged climate.
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The Oral Microbiome Laboratory



The Oral Microbiome Laboratory: Overview and Training Capacity

The Human Microbiome Laboratory is directed by Dr Alejandro Mira and was created in the year 2008 at the Center for Advanced Research in Public Health, integrated within the FISABIO Foundation. The group is part of the Genomics and Health Department, where 50 researchers work on the development of "omics" and high-throughput sequencing techniques for the study of infectious diseases. Dr Mira is in charge of studying the human microbiome and its contribution to health and disease, especially the oral microbiota. He has directed six national grants on the topic, as a consequence of which five patents have been registered, including new probiotic and prebiotic compounds to prevent oral diseases, a new diagnostic test that indicates a personalized treatment to prevent tooth decay and a method to diagnose colorectal cancer by the use of microbial biomarkers. One of these patents has already been licensed and has been approved in the EU and 12 other countries.

The group has performed the first metagenomic, metatranscriptomic and metaproteomic studies of human dental plaque in the world, the first of which allowed them to win the Biomedal Research Award for the best molecular biology publication of 2011-2012, awarded by the Spanish Society of Microbiology. They have performed some of the first metagenomic studies on the breast milk microbiome, the lung microbiome and the stomach microbiome. The laboratory has also developed a new in vitro model to study the development of biofilms and therapeutic treatments, which can be visualized in real time, and that has been proposed to improve antibiotic treatment of infections in human implants. The group has discovered a new bacterial species that is being developed as a probiotic to include in functional foods. Animal trials have been successful and three clinical trials for the use of the probiotic in humans were performed in 2017 and 2018. The project to develop the probiotic has received the National FIPSE Award in Health Innovation in 2018.

Dr Mira's group is formed by four PhD students, a Master student, a technician and four post-doctoral researchers. All members of the group receive a mixed training in experimental and bioinformatic techniques and all group computers use Linux operating system. The group trains regularly 1-2 undergraduate students every year and directs one Master thesis and one First Degree final project every course.

The group is managed in a cooperative manner by weekly meetings where scientific results of the lab members are presented and discussed. In addition, they present their results yearly at the departmental seminars, which are held weekly and in English. Each student or postdoc attends a minimum of one conference per year and all students have an international stay of over 3 months, which have included Glasgow (UK), Odense (Denmark), Utrecht (The Netherlands) and Guadalajara (Mexico) in the last years. The group has also covered the costs for the PhD students to enroll in intensive summer English courses, a phylogenetic inference course, some bioinformatic analysis of DNA sequence courses, a microscopy course and a microbiome course.

The quality and training of the team members is reflected by being holders of the Gaceta Dental Research Article Award (2012 and 2017), the Research Award of the Spanish Society for Oral Public Health (2013), the best oral presentation at the Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease Meeting (2013) or the Science Talent Awards of the Comunidad Valenciana (2014). Past postdoctoral fellows in the lab have permanent faculty positions at universities or research institutes; permanent jobs at Biotech companies; or postdoctoral senior positions. The team has organized several international courses on metagenomic analysis, two in April 2013, one in July 2013 and one in July 2014, which included both experimental and hands-on computing classes. The laboratory personnel involved in the development of patents are given a percentage of the exploitation benefits, which has ranged from 2.2% to 17%, depending on the case.


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PREVECAM project

"Oral Microbiome Lab is a Scientific Unit for Business Innovation (UCIE) funded by the Valencian Innovation Agency (AVI), through the PREVECAM project (Development of preventive and diagnostic methods against diseases caused by microorganisms). This type of Units are co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund of the European Union. For more information about this type of actions, click here:


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