157: Ara Katz and Raja Dhir - On Gut Science, the Microbiome, and Probiotics

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Ara Katz and Raja Dhir founded Seed, an ecosystem of kindred scientists, doctors, innovators, entrepreneurs, and translational storytellers from around the world. Seed's members collectively believe in the potential of the microbiome to improve human and planetary health.

Raja Dhir leads Seed’s research strategy and academic collaborations, clinical trial design, product development, and intellectual property strategy. Raja is the architect of the Seed Platform and has unique expertise in translating scientific research for product development – including patented inventions to stabilize sensitive compounds to improve human microbiome diversity and inflammatory biomarkers.

Raja is also Co-Chair of Seed’s Scientific Advisory Board where Seed focuses on solving complex ecological problems including honeybee colony collapse, plastic degradation, and soil fertility through bacteria. Raja serves on the Editorial Board for the scientific journal, Microbiome, on the Industry Advisory Committee for the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP).

Ara Katz's breastfeeding experience led her to the microbiome and inspired a personal mission to explore the importance of microbes and how they can impact the health of our bodies, our children and our planet. Ara previously Co-Founded and served as CMO of Spring, mobile commerce marketplace.

Ara has been a fellow at the MIT Media Lab’s Center for Future Storytelling and CCA’s DesignMBA program, and was named in Marie Claire’s “The New Guard: The 50 Most Influential Women in America”, listed on Business Insider’s “Silicon Alley Top 100” and “36 Rockstar Women in NYC Tech”, and was recently included in Create + Cultivate’s 100 List for STEM.

From Andy: This was just about the most fun I've ever had in a conversation about some seriously scientific and technical stuff - the human biome and gut. Ara and Raja were so good at taking their vast knowledge and expertise, boiling it down to the things that are most important, and explaining it in a way that a normal layperson can understand. The developments we're making in the research of the microbiome and gut are so exciting and cutting edge - this is a conversation that you've got to take the time to check out!

Enjoy!

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