Year/Course: 2023-2024, Lent 2024
Project type: Medical

Inventor: Dr. Alicia Showering, BugBiome

The founder of BugBiome, Dr. Alicia Showering, studied differences in the skin microbiome during her PhD research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. In particular she researched how differences in the skin microbiome are associated with attractiveness to mosquitoes and how this then influences whether the mosquitoes choose to bite us.

As a result of this research, Alicia founded BugBiome with the aim of developing durable repellents through naturally-derived microbial activities.

Mosquitoes are not just a nuisance but they also spread deadly diseases like malaria and Dengue which cause over a billion infections each year. The aim is to harness the power of naturally occurring bacteria to create repellents that offer a long-lasting, eco-friendly, and safe protective shield against mosquitoes for humans, animals, and plants. This initiative not only provides a solution to prevent mosquito-borne diseases but also addresses the pressing need for sustainable practices in pest control for the good of the planet.

The question for the i-Team is to investigate the range of possible applications of this technology, and recommend the most commercially attractive markets to the inventor. This will include medical applications, veterinary applications and possibly even to agriculture, wherever there are unsolved problems that the BugBiome technology could address.