Lab 'NERD' receives $1M funding from Taiwan ministry for microbiome research

By Michelle Yeomans

- Last updated on GMT

Lab 'NERD' receives $1M funding from Taiwan ministry for microbiome research

Related tags Skin

The self-confessed team of geeks at 'NERD skin care' have received $1M in funding from Taiwan's Ministry of Science and Technology to further research microbes in the quest to create "21st-Century beauty products". 

The microorganism, controlling and regulating health in the body can be used in cosmetic preventative treatments, cures, therapies and 'beauty from within' supplements.

Various cosmetics manufacturers have been investing their time and money in this area of late as the skin’s microflora has been found to fight infection while also having the potential of adding ‘good’ bacteria when formulated into skin creams to fight skin conditions such as acne.

Bringing real science to the beauty industry...

'NERD skin care' is the latest brand striving to bring real science - from microbiology to nanotechnology to the beauty market.

Their products include masks comprised of biocellulose grown in their own labs and a soon-to-be-launched nanoparticle range.

Its team of scientists are currently participating in SOSV’s synthetic biology accelerator, IndieBio to build an in-house sequencing machine that will allow them to collect skin microbiome profiles from their customers and this funding will help to step up their efforts following this.

"We are tapping into the science of the microbiome, and with that we’ll be able to create 21st-Century beauty products. Microbiomes are highly localized ecosystems in a particular environment, like an individual’s face, for example,​" says Evelyn Chen, NERD CEO.

Program director at IndieBio SF, Ryan Bethencourt established the connection with the Taiwan Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center for the brand.

“I’m most excited about the real science [Chen] is bringing to understanding the microbiome of the skin and face, which I think will revolutionize our view of the value of cosmetics, beyond just beauty into a deeper understanding of skin health,” ​Bethencourt told

Industry work in this area

In 2013, L'Oréal scientists revealed that they had been working with the Paris based Institute Pasteur and New York University on microbiomes of the skin.

It is this balance and role of endogenous skin microflora, L'Oréal reps had reported at the time, which will be key for new cosmetic or dermatological applications.

Microbiome…is an essential partner for your skin,” ​said Sophie Seite, scientific director at the dermatology laboratory at L’Oréal’s La Roche-Posay.

Earlier that year, the major cosmetics player had announced it had launched a new study that has found an increasing the body’s friendly strain of certain microbes with a skin cream or lotion may help calm spotty or imperfect complexions and protect the skin.

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