The University of California San Diego

The Microsetta Initiative

Statement of Privacy Practices– General Data Protection Regulation

Privacy Statement

As part of our commitment to protecting your privacy, this statement is designed to provide you with information regarding how The Microsetta Initiative (TMI), part of University of California San Diego (“UC San Diego”) and the Center for Microbiome Innovation (CMI), collects and processes the information you share when you use our websites located at and, and each of their associated domains (together, the “Sites”), utilize the Services of ours which include participating in TMI as a research subject or when you otherwise communicate with TMI. This statement is applicable to individuals using TMI Services.


For purposes of the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), the data controller is the Regents of the University of California, with a location at UC San Diego Biomedical Research Facility 2 (BRF2), Room 1125, 9500 Gilman Dr., La Jolla, CA 92093-0413.

Research Purpose and What to Expect as a Participant

The purpose of the TMI research study is to assess more accurately the differences among people and whether these differences can be attributed to factors such as lifestyle, diet, body type, age or the presence of associated diseases. The study aims to collect microbiome samples and phenotypic data by engaging citizen scientists through research participation and education through outreach to build a resource to further our understanding of the human microbiome. Dr. Rob Knight is conducting the study to find out more about the trillions of bacteria and other microorganisms (called your microbiome) that live in and on your body. This includes eukaryotes like fungi and parasites, prokaryotes like bacteria and archaea, and viruses. 


By becoming a citizen scientist, you may contribute in several ways:

  • Submitting your sample(s) and completing online questionnaires to receive microbiome and nutritional reports
  • Completing online questionnaires to contribute to data
  • Placing a monetary contribution to support our initiative


Research activities performed by TMI are overseen by UC San Diego’s Office of IRB Administration, which is an independent ethics review board known as an Institutional Review Board or “IRB”. TMI may be sponsored by, conducted on behalf of, or in collaboration with academic research institutions or partnered companies. Participation in research is entirely voluntary. You may refuse to participate or withdraw your participation for the continued collection, use or disclosure of your information, at any time, through TMI online account services without penalty or loss of benefits to which you are entitled.