St George and Sutherland Medical Research Foundation

Can you help improve the lives of everyday Australians through microbiome research?

The Healthy Optimal Australian Microbiome Study needs your help!  The HOAM team is hoping to recruit 500 participants to this iconic study which is run by UNSW Microbiome Research Centre based at St George Hospital.

The study consists of some online surveys, a short physical assessment and a one-off sample of stool, urine, blood and a mouth swab.

The study is recruiting to several groups and is open to anyone who can attend one of our collection centres across Sydney and wider NSW.

Find out if you can help us by joining one of the groups.

HOAM

About the Healthy Optimal Australian Microbiome (HOAM) Study

The UNSW Microbiome Research Centre (MRC) Healthy Australian Optimal Microbiome (HOAM) Study (HREC 2019/ETH13001), funded by the Australian Federal Government through Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) is currently recruiting participants.

The MRC is based within the grounds of St George Hospital, and was kindly supported by Federal and State Governments and SESLHD through grants to its partners, the St George and Sutherland Medical Research Foundation (SSMRF) in 2017.

The human microbiome is a person’s collective genetic material of the microorganisms (such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, etc.) that live on and inside our body. This research study will determine what the optimal healthy Australian microbiome looks like.

The chief principal investigator, Professor Emad El-Omar hopes that the HOAM study will define what the optimal healthy Australian microbiome is in this “Australian first” study. Importantly we hope to learn what the differences are across different age groups, and how this might relate to health, disease, and other aspects of human living like physical activity, diet, ageing, mood, cognition, and quality of life.

How can you help?

The team at MRC would like you to help by taking part in the research study.  We are hoping that volunteers from across our diverse communities will join one of the following groups.

  • Adolescents (aged 13- 18 years of age
  • Active adults (aged 19-65)
  • Inactive adults (aged 19-65)
  • Senior and very senior (65 + and 95+) who are cognitively well (no dementia)
  • Senior and very senior (65 + and 95+) with dementia

To join the study, you will be asked to complete a short screening survey and a member of our team will contact you.

If you decide to join you will be asked to sign a consent form, following which you will be asked to complete some brief surveys online about your lifestyle, and health (which will take no more than an hour).

Shortly after you will receive a sample collection kit in the post. To complete the study, you will be required to collect a sample of your stool, urine and a swab from inside your mouth.  Our study team will also arrange for a blood sample to be taken and some clinical measures (height, weight, blood pressure etc).

The sample collection is one time point, and you do not have to take any drugs or undertake any interventions.

Where is the sample collection?

Our team would love to meet you! The MRC is based within the grounds of St George Hospital Kogarah.  We realise that you might not be able to come to drop off your samples and have your blood collected at Kogarah.  It is possible to undertake the sample collection at several NSW health pathology providers across NSW.  Please mention this to the study team which you join the study if you wish to use this service.

 How else can you help?

If you wish to support the study but don’t feel like you can take part, we would love it if you can share the following link with your network: www.unsw.to/poostudy

For more information about the study contact

Dr Michelle Fitzmaurice (Project Manager)
E: HOAM_study@unsw.edu.au
T:  02 9348 0691