Dr. B. Brett Finlay is a Professor in the Michael Smith Laboratories, and the Departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Microbiology and Immunology at the University of British Columbia. He obtained a B.Sc. (Honors) in Biochemistry at the University of Alberta, where he also did his Ph.D. (1986) in Biochemistry under Dr. William Paranchych, studying F-like plasmid conjugation. His post-doctoral studies were performed with Dr. Stanley Falkow at the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology at Stanford University School of Medicine, where he studied Salmonella invasion into host cells.
In 1989, he joined UBC as an Assistant Professor in the Biotechnology Laboratory. Dr. Finlay’s research interests are focused on host-microbe interactions, at the molecular level. By combining cell biology with microbiology, he has been at the forefront of the field called Cellular Microbiology, making several fundamental discoveries in this area, and publishing over 500 papers (h index=127). His laboratory studies several pathogenic bacteria, including Salmonella and pathogenic E. coli, and more recently the microbiota.
He is well recognized internationally for his work and has won several prestigious awards including the E.W.R. Steacie Prize, the CSM Fisher Scientific Award, CSM Roche Award, a MRC Scientist, five Howard Hughes International Research Scholar Awards, a CIHR Distinguished Investigator, BC Biotech Innovation Award, the Michael Smith Health Research Prize, the IDSA Squibb award, the Jacob Biely Prize, the prestigious Canadian Killam Health Sciences Prize, the Flavelle Medal of the Royal Society, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, and the Prix Galien. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, is a Member of the German National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Microbiology, Chair d’État, Collège de France and is the UBC Peter Wall Distinguished Professor. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada and Order of British Columbia, and was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.
He is a cofounder of Inimex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Microbiome Insights, scientific co-founder of Vedanta Pharmaceuticals and CommenSe, Director of the SARS Accelerated Vaccine Initiative, and Founding Director and Senior Fellow of CIFAR’s Microbes and Humans. He is also the co-author of the book Let Them Eat Dirt.
Examples of latest publications
The hygiene hypothesis, the COVID pandemic, and consequences for the human microbiome. Finlay BB, Amato KR, Azad M, Blaser MJ, Bosch TCG, Chu H, Dominguez-Bello MG, Ehrlich SD, Elinav E, Geva-Zatorsky N, Gros P, Guillemin K, Keck F, Korem T, McFall-Ngai MJ, Melby MK, Nichter M, Pettersson S, Poinar H, Rees T, Tropini C, Zhao L, Giles-Vernick T.Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Feb 9;118(6):e2010217118. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2010217118.PMID: 33472859
Microbiome-driven allergic lung inflammation is ameliorated by short-chain fatty acids. Cait A, Hughes MR, Antignano F, Cait J, Dimitriu PA, Maas KR, Reynolds LA, Hacker L, Mohr J, Finlay BB, Zaph C, McNagny KM, Mohn WW. Mucosal Immunol. 2017 Oct 25. doi: 10.1038/mi.2017.75. PMID: 29067994
Towards standards for human fecal sample processing in metagenomic studies. Costea PI, Zeller G, Sunagawa S, Pelletier E, Alberti A, Levenez F, Tramontano M, Driessen M, Hercog R, Jung FE, Kultima JR, Hayward MR, Coelho LP, Allen-Vercoe E, Bertrand L, Blaut M, Brown JRM, Carton T, Cools-Portier S, Daigneault M, Derrien M, Druesne A, de Vos WM, Finlay BB, Flint HJ, Guarner F, Hattori M, Heilig H, Luna RA, van Hylckama Vlieg J, Junick J, Klymiuk I, Langella P, Le Chatelier E, Mai V, Manichanh C, Martin JC, Mery C, Morita H, O’Toole PW, Orvain C, Patil KR, Penders J, Persson S, Pons N, Popova M, Salonen A, Saulnier D, Scott KP, Singh B, Slezak K, Veiga P, Versalovic J, Zhao L, Zoetendal EG, Ehrlich SD, Dore J, Bork P. Nat Biotechnol. 2017 Nov;35(11):1069-1076. doi: 10.1038/nbt.3960. PMID: 28967887
Early infancy microbial and metabolic alterations affect risk of childhood asthma. Arrieta MC, Stiemsma LT, Dimitriu PA, Thorson L, Russell S, Yurist-Doutsch S, Kuzeljevic B, Gold MJ, Britton HM, Lefebvre DL, Subbarao P, Mandhane P, Becker A, McNagny KM, Sears MR, Kollmann T; CHILD Study Investigators, Mohn WW, Turvey SE, Finlay BB. Sci Transl Med. 2015 Sep 30;7(307):307ra152. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aab2271. PMID: 26424567
Diet and specific microbial exposure trigger features of environmental enteropathy in a novel murine model. Brown EM, Wlodarska M, Willing BP, Vonaesch P, Han J, Reynolds LA, Arrieta MC, Uhrig M, Scholz R, Partida O, Borchers CH, Sansonetti PJ, Finlay BB. Nat Commun. 2015 Aug 4;6:7806. doi: 10.1038/ncomms8806. PMID: 26241678