This article first appeared in the Uruguayan press “El Observador” on November 26, and in MIT Technology Review in Spanish.
The journal of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has awarded the pioneering project of a young Uruguayan biotechnologist dedicated to the analysis of the human microbiota.
Every year the Spanish edition of MIT Technology Review, the magazine of the media company owned by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), awards 35 young Latin American innovators under 35 years of age in the categories “inventors”, “entrepreneurs”, “visionaries”, “humanitarians” and “pioneers”.
The Uruguayan biotechnologist María Pía Campot Moreira has been honoured in this last category for Enteria, a biotechnology venture company devoted to the analysis of human microbiota.
Campot, an ORT Uruguay University graduate, together with three other partners from the science and computer science disciplines started this project in 2018. “Several health area people approached us asking if something related was being done in Uruguay. We saw that no one was doing it”, Campot tells Cromo. There are some investigations and companies working in this field abroad. The project however, is not only pioneering the field in Uruguay, it also aspires to be an idea “more defined and improved than what is done worldwide”, says the biotechnologist.
The Enteria start-up analyzes the microbial genome of users’ faecal samples to detect pathologies and make personalized recommendations. At first, it is proposed as a tool for health professionals to diagnose and treat diseases from microorganisms that live in people’s intestines. However, Enteria plans to expand its interested public by offering personalized services for people throughout their lives, as well as tailor-made services for companies and research centres. In addition, they also intend for the project to cross borders, initially targeting Argentina, but also with the intention of taking it to other countries in the region and the world. Campot reports they are finishing developing their services and will shortly begin offering them to health professionals.
The entrepreneur declares the award implies a greater visibility for the project in particular, and for all scientific projects: “it demonstrates Uruguay does science, there are entrepreneurial scientists, and have a lot of potential to compete in world markets at a scientific level”.