Sara is a full-stack software developer with degrees in both Bachelor of Computer Science and Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of British Columbia. Prior to joining Microbiome Insights, Sara completed an internship with Statistics Canada and a work learn with UBC’s Beaty Biodiversity Museum. Outside of software development, she enjoys photography, yoga, and hiking.
Khoi is responsible for integrating sequencing data, ecological statistics and machine learning methods to study host-microbe interactions. Khoi graduated from the University of Alberta from the department of Agricultural, Food & Nutritional Science. There, he and his collaborators spearheaded efforts to understand how diet shapes human gut microbiomes and how their interactions influence health and disease. He has authored and co-authored publications in leading scientific journals such as Science Microbiome and Cell-Host & Microbe.
Ben Amuwo recently completed a B.Sc. in Biology at the University of British Columbia, and has amassed a wealth of experience in sales and ecological study. As Microbiome Insights’ Project Coordinator, he works to promote smooth workflow while enhancing the experience and satisfaction of our clients. Ben has a passion for ecological sciences and scientific research, and hopes to continue growing his expertise in the field of microbiomes.
Iryna Borzilova has a B.Sc. in Health Sciences and Business Administration from the University of Ottawa. Before she joined Microbiome Insights, she worked for 5 years for a Nestle Health Science-owned brand in progressively responsible sales positions. She has a track record of facilitating company growth through building strong relationships. She is passionate about health, science and technology. In her spare time, you can find her honing in on her French language skills, skiing or playing tennis.
Hatem is a passionate software developer with an academic background in computer science. He brings to Microbiome Insights nearly 8 years of experience in software design, architecture, and development with a wide range of technologies at local startups and international organizations. Prior to joining the company, Hatem worked as a full stack software developer with the Vanbex group, where he helped build and launch several successful blockchain products. When he is away from the keyboard, Hatem can be found cycling, hiking, and exploring the natural wonders of beautiful British Columbia.
Ben earned his B.Sc. (Hons) and M.Sc. from the University of British Columbia, concentrating on Microbiology, Molecular Biology, and Genetics. During his undergraduate and graduate thesis study, he conducted research on wine microbes with the goal of unlocking the mysteries of how microorganisms affect wine’s sensorial and chemical profiles. Ben previously worked as research technician and Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technician specializing in all things related to Sanger and Illumina NGS DNA Sequencing technology. Ben joined Microbiome Insights in 2018, bringing more than six years of experience in advanced techniques in both wet and dry lab settings.
Karl Moran has a B.Sc. in Pharmacology from University College Dublin (Ireland). He brings over 5 years of clinical research and project management experience to the company. Prior to joining the team Karl worked as a Project Manager for Icon Clinical Research, where he managed the laboratory testing and operations for a number of clinical trials. At Microbiome Insights, he manages accounts related to Skin, Nutrition, Gut Health and the Oral Microbiome.
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:
Are noncommunicable diseases communicable? Finlay BB; CIFAR Humans; Microbiome.Science. 2020 Jan 17;367(6475):250-251. doi: 10.1126/science.aaz3834.PMID:
Associations between infant fungal and bacterial dysbiosis and childhood atopic wheeze in a nonindustrialized setting. Arrieta MC, Arévalo A, Stiemsma L, et al. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2018.
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
Dr. William (Bill) Mohn is a Professor in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology in the Life Sciences Institute at the University of British Columbia. Bill earned his B.A. from Colgate University and his Ph.D. from Michigan State. He was a Research Associate at the National Research Council of Canada in Ottawa prior to moving to UBC as an Assistant professor in 1993.
Bill has done pioneering research on bacterial metabolism of chlorinated compounds, terpenoids, lignocellulose and steroids. He is a leader in microbial ecology and the development of methods to investigate highly complex microbial communities and is internationally recognized for his research.
Bill’s current research employs classical, molecular, genomic, and metagenomic approaches to study interactions between the host microbiome and immune system as well as bacterial metabolism of lignocellulose and steroids. He was awarded the UBC Killam Research Prize and the Canadian Society of Microbiologists Murray Award for career achievement. He was elected to both The American Academy of Microbiology and the Board of Directors of the International Society for Microbial Ecology. Pseudomonas mohnii was named in recognition of his pioneering contributions.
Bill has over 150 peer-reviewed publications and has led or co-led several interdisciplinary collaborative research projects. He served on the Editorial Boards of Applied & Environmental Microbiology and Microbial Ecology as well as on advisory boards for several major research initiatives, including the Earth and Biological Sciences Directorate Advisory Committee at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
Bill teaches microbial ecophysiology and has supervised 19 postdocs, 34 graduate students and 55 undergraduate researchers.
Examples of recent publications
Levy-Booth DJ, Hashimi A, Roccor R, Liu L, Renneckar S, Eltis LD, Mohn WW. 2020. Genomics and metatranscriptomics of biogeochemical cycling and degradation of lignin-derived aromatic compounds in thermal swamp sediment. ISME J 15:879–893, doi.org/10.1038/s41396-020-00820-x
Amenyogbe N, Dimitriu P, Smolen KK, Brown EM, Shannon CP, Tebbutt SK, Cooper PJ, Marchant A, Ghoetghebuer T, Esser M, Finlay BB, Kollmann TR, Mohn WW. 2020. Biogeography of the relationship between the child gut microbiome and innate immune system. mBio 12:e03079-20, doi.org/10.1128/mBio.03079-20
Cait A, Cardenas E, Dimitriu P, Amenyogbe N, Dai D, Cait J, Sbihi H, Stiemsma L, Subbarao P, Mandhane PJ, Becker AB, Moraes TJ, Sears MR, Lefebvre DL, Azad MB, Kollmann T, Turvey SE, Mohn WW. 2019. Reduced genetic potential for butyrate fermentation in the gut microbiome of infants who develop allergic sensitization. J Allergy Clin Immunol, 144:1638-1647
Levy-Booth DJ, Giesbrecht IJW, Kellogg CTE, Heger TJ, D’Amore DV, Keeling PJ, Hallam SJ, Mohn WW. 2018. Seasonal and ecohydrological regulation of active microbial populations involved in DOC, CO2 and CH4 fluxes in temperate rainforest soil. ISME J 13:950-963, doi.org/10.1038/s41396-018-0334-3
Holert J, Cardenas E, Bergstrand L, Zaikova E, Hahn A, Hallam SJ, Mohn WW. 2018. Metagenomes reveal global distribution of bacterial steroid catabolism in natural, engineered and host environments. mBio 9:e02345-17, doi.org/10.1128/mBio.02345-17
Michael Liggett brings 30 years of experience in the health care and finance industries. Michael was a practicing pharmacist for 7 years before obtaining his training and certification as a Chartered Accountant. After spending 7 years at Price Waterhouse Coopers (then Price Waterhouse), he joined Inflazyme Pharmaceuticals Ltd. in the capacity of Chief Financial Officer. He provided leadership through multiple financings and other strategic initiatives before successfully transitioning the company to establish its footprint in the forestry sector as Eacom Timber. His background includes over 14 years as a public company CFO with strategic and operational expertise and proven success in finance, M&A, strategic partnerships, restructurings, and risk management. BSc in Pharmaceutical sciences at the University of British Columbia. Chartered Accountant designation.