DS Biome is a parent-led, citizen-engaged, research initiative, bringing together a team of scientists and clinicians from University College Cork, along with members from the Down Syndrome Community, all of whom have very generously donated their time, at no cost, in order to establish this initiative.
Passion and desire to make real change
A number of researchers involved in this project have family members with Down Syndrome and are thereby especially passionate about the potential of this research. DS Biome will focus exclusively on studying the microbiota of persons with Down Syndrome. This initiative was built on in-depth two-way citizen engagement, in that our collaborating partners are organisations that were either established by family members or are working on projects being led by professionals who have children with special needs .
Standing on the shoulders of giants
The research that we will carry out builds on experience that has been accumulated over more than 19 years that has established Cork as an epicentre of microbiome research. Three of the Principal Investigators that have contributed to this success, and were recently named yet again among the most highly cited researchers in the country, i.e., Professor Fergus Shanahan, Professor Paul O’Toole and Professor Paul Cotter, will lead the research component of DS Biome.
State of the art technology
The DS Biome team have access to state of the art DNA sequencing infrastructure and associated computational servers that facilitate an in-depth insight into the gut microbiome, i.e., what is there and what it is capable of doing.