Animal Microbiome USA | Kisaco Research
Kansas City, USA
21-22 March, 2018
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The Audience
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Why Attend

The Animal Microbiome Congress USA brings together leading veterinary researchers, innovative biotechnology companies, feed and strain manufacturers, animal breeders and producers, pharmaceutical companies, regulatory bodies, and cutting-edge solution providers to understand the latest research focusing on manipulating the animal microbiome, form successful product development strategies, and facilitate collaborations and business partnering.

Techniques and products that manipulate the animal microbiome are set to be the next frontier in superior disease therapeutics, diagnostics, and nutrition in livestock, companion animals, and aquaculture. The conference will showcase unpublished data, new technologies, and translational case studies presented by leading academic and industry experts. Our ‘MEETING MOJO’ platform will allow you to schedule meetings across the two conference days to facilitate future collaborations and business partnering. 

Who Will Be There

25%
Veterinary Researchers
15%
Animal Breeders and Producers
20%
Feed and Strain Manufacturers
25%
Pharmaceutical and Nutrition Companies
5%
Government and Regulatory Bodies
10%
Ground-breaking Solution Providers

Veterinary Researchers

Animal Breeders and Producers

Feed and Strain Manufacturers

Pharmaceutical and Nutrition Companies

Government and Regulatory Bodies

Ground-breaking Solution Providers

The Agenda

Find out all you need to know about our speakers, innovation showcase, venue, prices and more in our full agenda.

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Conference Packages

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The Speakers

 

Mallory Embree

CO-founder and Chief Scientific Officer
Ascus

Mallory’s entire career has focused on researching and developing new methodologies to study both natural and synthetic microbial communities. Her area of expertise centers around the integration of bioinformatics with multiple omics datasets, physiological measurements, and metabolic modeling to examine microbial communities from a species-centric perspective.

Mallory Embree

CO-founder and Chief Scientific Officer
Ascus

Mallory’s entire career has focused on researching and developing new methodologies to study both natural and synthetic microbial communities. Her area of expertise centers around the integration of bioinformatics with multiple omics datasets, physiological measurements, and metabolic modeling to examine microbial communities from a species-centric perspective. She has studied microbial communities from a diverse range of environments beyond livestock, including liver-disease mouse models, human skin microbiomes, brewery wastewater digesters, slow-growing methanogenic alkane-degrading enrichments, and low-biomass deep subsurface sediments from the ocean gyres.
Together with her co-founder, Mike Seely, Mallory founded Ascus Biosciences in 2015 to discover, develop, and commercialize first-in-class endomicrobial products for the animal health & nutrition industries. Outside of her passion for microbial communities and microbial product development, Mallory spends a lot of her free time working on airplanes, hot-air balloons and doing yoga. Mallory received her Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of California, San Diego.

About Ascus
Ascus Biosciences, based in San Diego, CA, is focused on discovering, developing, and commercializing first-in-class endomicrobial products for the animal health and nutrition industries. Founded in 2015, Ascus is pioneering the emerging science of endomicrobial ecology to illuminate microbial communities within animals, and the role they play in overall health and performance. Ascus has a broad pipeline of all-natural, endomicrobial products in development across livestock and companion animals. Galaxis is their lead product and could launch as early as 2018 in the dairy market.

 

Professor Albert Jergens

Professor of Internal Medicine and Associate Chair for Research and Graduate Studies
Iowa State University CVM

Clinical interests: gastroenterology, endoscopy, inflammatory bowel disease, performance of clinical trials. Research interests: endoscopy, GI immunology, host-microbiota interactions mediating GI health and disease.

Professor Albert Jergens

Professor of Internal Medicine and Associate Chair for Research and Graduate Studies
Iowa State University CVM

Clinical interests: gastroenterology, endoscopy, inflammatory bowel disease, performance of clinical trials. Research interests: endoscopy, GI immunology, host-microbiota interactions mediating GI health and disease.

 

Aline Rodrigues Hoffmann

Assistant Professor
Department of Veterinary Pathobiology College of Veterinary Medicine Texas A&M University

Aline Rodrigues Hoffmann, DVM, MS, PhD, Diplomate American College of Veterinary Pathologists, Assistant Professor at the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, USA. She is one of the pathologists at the Dermatopathology Specialty Service offered by Texas A&M University. Her research is primarily focused on studying the bacterial and fungal microbiome in the skin of companion animals, and correlating microbiome changes with development and pathogenesis of skin diseases.

Aline Rodrigues Hoffmann

Assistant Professor
Department of Veterinary Pathobiology College of Veterinary Medicine Texas A&M University

Aline Rodrigues Hoffmann, DVM, MS, PhD, Diplomate American College of Veterinary Pathologists, Assistant Professor at the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, USA. She is one of the pathologists at the Dermatopathology Specialty Service offered by Texas A&M University. Her research is primarily focused on studying the bacterial and fungal microbiome in the skin of companion animals, and correlating microbiome changes with development and pathogenesis of skin diseases. Other aspects of her research include basic dermatopathology, pathogenesis of infectious diseases, and microbiology. She is the author and co-author of several articles describing the skin Microbiome in companion animals.  She has also been involved and dedicated to diagnostic pathology, and training of professional students and veterinary pathology residents. She is a member of the American Academy of Veterinary Dermatology, International Society of Veterinary Dermatopathology, American College of Veterinary Pathologists, and American Society of Microbiology. 

 

Mathieu Castex, Ph.D

R&D Director
Lallemand

Mathieu Castex has been with Lallemand Animal Nutrition for close to a decade, committed since the beginning of his career to developing new applications for probiotics and yeast fractions applied to livestock and companion animals.

Mathieu Castex, Ph.D

R&D Director
Lallemand

Mathieu Castex has been with Lallemand Animal Nutrition for close to a decade, committed since the beginning of his career to developing new applications for probiotics and yeast fractions applied to livestock and companion animals.

Mathieu is based at Lallemand Animal Nutrition’s headquarters near Toulouse, France, and is acting as head of the R&D department. He manages a multicultural team of microbiologists, physiologists and nutritionists conducting research projects aiming at developing and/or documenting the effects of microbial based feed additives on the performance and health of livestock. Particular efforts are dedicated to research aiming at revealing the biological mechanisms involved in the interactions between the animal (the host) and its microbiota, and how those interactions drive animal feed efficiency and health. Mathieu also manages the Lallemand Centers of Excellence, research platforms across Europe and North America dedicated to the understanding of microbial ecosystems , product development and investigation of their modes of action, and he is also in charge of a wide partnership network with research institutes across the world.

 

Mathieu holds a Master in animal sciences and a PhD in microbiology and physiology of nutrition applied to aquatic organisms from AgroParisTech (France). After a period at IFREMER (French Institute of Marine Science), he developed transversal experiences in terms of marketing, business development, bioprocessing and Research and Development. His major research interests are about the understanding of the complex interactions between the animal and its intestinal microbiota resulting in responses at the local (Gastrointestinal tract) and systemic levels. 

 

 

 

Amy Biddle

Assistant Professor, Animal and Food Sciences
University of Delaware

Amy Biddle earned her PhD in Microbiology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and continued with postdoctoral study with Dr Roderick Mackie at the University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign. Her research focuses on the equine gut microbiome in health and disease.  The Biddle Lab launched the Equine Microbiome Project in 2015, the first large-scale survey of the equine gut microbiome.

Amy Biddle

Assistant Professor, Animal and Food Sciences
University of Delaware

Amy Biddle earned her PhD in Microbiology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and continued with postdoctoral study with Dr Roderick Mackie at the University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign. Her research focuses on the equine gut microbiome in health and disease.  The Biddle Lab launched the Equine Microbiome Project in 2015, the first large-scale survey of the equine gut microbiome. As a growing collection of gut microbe and horse health data, the EMP database is being used to identify patterns between the equine microbiome and factors such as age, diet, exercise, and metabolic state. Related projects in the Biddle Lab include in vitro experiments focusing on equine gut community function, and projects to survey equine gastrointestinal parasites, specifically taxa differences between small strongyles related to dewormer resistance.   

 

Dr. Garret Suen

Associate Professor
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Dr. Garret Suen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Bacteriology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. He studies how symbiotic microbes within ruminants impact their host production in addition to using the rumen ecosystem as a model for the production of biofuels. He utilizes numerous “omics” approaches to study microbiomes including amplicon sequencing, shotgun metagenomics, RNA-seq, and metaproteomics. Dr. Suen received a B.Sc. in Biological Sciences and a B.Sc. in Computer Sciences from the University of Calgary, Canada.

Dr. Garret Suen

Associate Professor
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Dr. Garret Suen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Bacteriology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. He studies how symbiotic microbes within ruminants impact their host production in addition to using the rumen ecosystem as a model for the production of biofuels. He utilizes numerous “omics” approaches to study microbiomes including amplicon sequencing, shotgun metagenomics, RNA-seq, and metaproteomics. Dr. Suen received a B.Sc. in Biological Sciences and a B.Sc. in Computer Sciences from the University of Calgary, Canada. He also obtained a M.Sc. in Computer Sciences from the University of Calgary, Canada, where he focused on developing agent-based algorithms based on swarming behaviour in ants. He received his Ph.D. from Syracuse University, USA from the laboratory of Roy Welch where he worked on the swarming bacterium Myxococcus xanthus. He then completed post-doctoral work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA in the laboratory of Cameron Currie where he published the first metagenome and genome sequence for the leaf-cutter ant Atta cephalotes.

 

 

Dr. Yeoman

Assistant Professor Gastrointestinal Microbiology
Montana State University

Dr. Yeoman’s research seeks to uncovering the various forces shaping the structure and function of host-associated microbial communities and understanding their impact on host nutrition, health and development. His work to date has focussed on the microbial communities associated with humans, wild and captive primates, and various agriculturally-important livestock species, including cattle and sheep and transcends gastrointestinal and reproductive tract niches.

Dr. Yeoman

Assistant Professor Gastrointestinal Microbiology
Montana State University

Dr. Yeoman’s research seeks to uncovering the various forces shaping the structure and function of host-associated microbial communities and understanding their impact on host nutrition, health and development. His work to date has focussed on the microbial communities associated with humans, wild and captive primates, and various agriculturally-important livestock species, including cattle and sheep and transcends gastrointestinal and reproductive tract niches. Dr Yeoman’s research employees multiple molecular methods and often involves longitudinal and biospatial analyses which he believes are critical to understanding the true impact of the microbiota.

 

Jan Suchodolski

Associate Professor and Associate Director
GI Lab

Jan S. Suchodolski graduated with a veterinary degree from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna, Austria in 1997. In 2005 Dr. Suchodolski received his PhD in Veterinary Microbiology from Texas A&M University for his work on molecular markers for the assessment of the intestinal microbiota. He is board certified in immunology by the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists (ACVM). He currently serves as Associate Professor and Associate Director of the GI Lab, a leading research and service laboratory for diagnosis of gastrointestinal disease in companion animals.

Jan Suchodolski

Associate Professor and Associate Director
GI Lab

Jan S. Suchodolski graduated with a veterinary degree from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna, Austria in 1997. In 2005 Dr. Suchodolski received his PhD in Veterinary Microbiology from Texas A&M University for his work on molecular markers for the assessment of the intestinal microbiota. He is board certified in immunology by the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists (ACVM). He currently serves as Associate Professor and Associate Director of the GI Lab, a leading research and service laboratory for diagnosis of gastrointestinal disease in companion animals. Over the last 10 years, the GI Laboratory has developed and validated several novel biomarkers for diagnosing and assessing severity of disease in gastrointestinal inflammation and microbiota dysbiosis. His research interest focusses on characterization of intestinal microbiota and metabolome in animal models with spontaneously occurring inflammatory bowel diseases and how the perturbations are modulated by various treatments.  

 

Mike Salter

R and D Facilitator
AB Agri Ltd

Mike Salter is a high level innovator and idea generator specialising in bridging the gap between academic research and translation of that research to create business opportunities.

Mike Salter

R and D Facilitator
AB Agri Ltd

Mike Salter is a high level innovator and idea generator specialising in bridging the gap between academic research and translation of that research to create business opportunities.

Currently I work for AB Agri at Board level to identify new areas of innovation, drive innovation forward, co-ordinate research effort across different business units and identify sources of research funding via collaboration with other businesses and government funding bodies. I sit on the BBSRC/NERC SARIC funding panel as the AB Agri representative, the BBSRC Agriculture and Food Security Strategic Advisory Panel as an industrial advisor and the NERC Innovation Advisory Board as an industrial advisor. 

Prior to AB Agri I was a key player in the establishment of a synthetic biology team being responsible for the design and management of a new build laboratory complex. This included the purchasing of capital equipment, managing the capital expenditure budget, initiating and managing health and safety policy for the team and managing biological safety. 

I returned to commercial work following a 20 year period in academic research where I rose to the position of associate professor running an independent research group and teaching undergraduate and post graduate students. I am a specialist in molecular analysis techniques and have a number of significant publications from my research work. 

 

Ryan Aresnault

Assistant Professor, Dept. of Animal and Food Sciences
University of Delaware

Dr. Ryan Arsenault is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences at the University of Delaware. Dr. Arsenault’s research at UD centers on kinomics and gut health across food-animal species, and includes the topics of immunometabolism, host-pathogen interactions, feed additives and antibiotic alternatives. Dr.

Ryan Aresnault

Assistant Professor, Dept. of Animal and Food Sciences
University of Delaware

Dr. Ryan Arsenault is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences at the University of Delaware. Dr. Arsenault’s research at UD centers on kinomics and gut health across food-animal species, and includes the topics of immunometabolism, host-pathogen interactions, feed additives and antibiotic alternatives. Dr. Arsenault was previously a post-doctoral research scientist with the United States Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) where he conducted research on gut health and immunomodulation in chicken and cattle, with the goal of limiting the carry and spread of pathogens important to food safety. Dr. Arsenault received his B.Sc. (2006) and Ph.D. (2012) from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, in biochemistry and conducted his research at the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization - International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac). 

 

Holly Ganz

CO-founder and CEO
AnimalBiome

Holly is a microbial ecologist with a BS from George Washington University, a MS from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and a PhD from UC Davis. She was a postdoctoral fellow at UC Berkeley. Prior to creating AnimalBiome, she studied microbes in dogs and cats at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and the UC Davis Genome Center

Holly Ganz

CO-founder and CEO
AnimalBiome

Holly is a microbial ecologist with a BS from George Washington University, a MS from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and a PhD from UC Davis. She was a postdoctoral fellow at UC Berkeley. Prior to creating AnimalBiome, she studied microbes in dogs and cats at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and the UC Davis Genome Center

 

Ehsan Khafipour

Associate Professor of Microbiology
University of Manitoba

Dr. Ehsan Khafipour is an Associate Professor of Microbiology at the Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences; and Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, College of Medicine, University of Manitoba. He is also the Lead Scientist of the “Microbiome Laboratory” and a Research Scientist at the Children Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba (CHRIM), and Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine (CCARM).

Ehsan Khafipour

Associate Professor of Microbiology
University of Manitoba

Dr. Ehsan Khafipour is an Associate Professor of Microbiology at the Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences; and Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, College of Medicine, University of Manitoba. He is also the Lead Scientist of the “Microbiome Laboratory” and a Research Scientist at the Children Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba (CHRIM), and Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine (CCARM). Ehsan’s laboratory uses cutting-edge sequencing technologies, combined with bioinformatics and statistical approaches to link the composition, function, and dynamics of microbiomes in the gut, vaginal tract, and mammary system with individuals’ diet, lifestyle factors, and health/disease status. His goal is to move from the current “one-size fits all” recommendations for prevention and treatment of metabolic diseases –in food producing animals as well as in humans – toward personalized/precision nutrition and medicine. He is also working closely with a diverse group of researchers to characterize microbial communities in other environments to address ecologically important questions. 

 

For more information about Dr. Khafipour’s research please visit:

http://www.khafipourmicrobiomelaboratory.com

 

Dr. Vernon L. McIntosh Jr.

Principle Scientist Research and Development Manager
Cargill

Dr. Vernon L. McIntosh Jr.

Principle Scientist Research and Development Manager
Cargill
 

Marc Van Eden

Vice President of Business Development
Zymo Research

Marc Van Eden

Vice President of Business Development
Zymo Research
 

Steven Frese

Associate Director of Research and Development
Evolve Biosystems

Steven Frese

Associate Director of Research and Development
Evolve Biosystems
 

Elizabeth Kim

Technical Services Manager
Dupont Industrial Biosciences Animal Nutrition

Elizabeth Kim

Technical Services Manager
Dupont Industrial Biosciences Animal Nutrition
 

Brett Morris

Principal Manager Investments
Techaccel

Brett Morris

Principal Manager Investments
Techaccel
 

Michael Kogut

Research Microbiologist
Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center

Dr. Kogut is a Research Microbiologist and Lead Scientist within the Food and Feed Safety research Unit at the Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center, College Station, TX, USA.

Michael Kogut

Research Microbiologist
Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center

Dr. Kogut is a Research Microbiologist and Lead Scientist within the Food and Feed Safety research Unit at the Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center, College Station, TX, USA.

Dr. Kogut’s research is centered on alternatives to antibiotics to control disease and increase production; specifically the development of cost-effective, pre-harvest immunological interventions to improve gut health by studying the role of the microbiota in immunity to infection; the role of dietary metabolites in promoting immune regulation and immune responses to pathogens; tissue specific regulatory responses to infection; characterizing novel molecular targets that mediate the actions of dietary compounds and botanicals in inflammation and immunity; investigating how diet modulates the gut microbiome and mucosal immune responses; and understanding the integration of central metabolic pathways and nutrient sensing with antibacterial immunity and how it alters cellular energy homeostasis and contributes to the prevention or resolution of infectious diseases.  

 

Michael Shields

Director of Swine Nutrition
Cactus Feeders

I went to school for my undergraduate and graduate program at North Carolina State University. I finished in 2013 with a Ph.D. in Animal Science and Nutrition. I then worked for Cape Fear Consulting managing nutrition for several companies. I began working at Cactus Family Farms in 2015. I manage the nutrition program for 35,000 sows from farrow to finish. I currently reside in Raleigh, NC with my wife, Anna. 

Michael Shields

Director of Swine Nutrition
Cactus Feeders

I went to school for my undergraduate and graduate program at North Carolina State University. I finished in 2013 with a Ph.D. in Animal Science and Nutrition. I then worked for Cape Fear Consulting managing nutrition for several companies. I began working at Cactus Family Farms in 2015. I manage the nutrition program for 35,000 sows from farrow to finish. I currently reside in Raleigh, NC with my wife, Anna. 

 

Roderick Mackie

Professor of Animal Sciences
University of Illinois

As is evident from my publications and experience, I am an expert in microbial ecology and physiology of the gut of both animals and humans having worked in this field for 45 years. This includes experience with both classical cultivation based anaerobic techniques as well as modern cultivation independent molecular ecology and genomic approaches to the study of physiology, metabolism and ecology of the normal intestinal microbiota.

Roderick Mackie

Professor of Animal Sciences
University of Illinois

As is evident from my publications and experience, I am an expert in microbial ecology and physiology of the gut of both animals and humans having worked in this field for 45 years. This includes experience with both classical cultivation based anaerobic techniques as well as modern cultivation independent molecular ecology and genomic approaches to the study of physiology, metabolism and ecology of the normal intestinal microbiota. We have used a range of different molecular techniques to study population structure and function, most recently Next Generation 16S rRNA based pyrosequencing and RNA-Seq approaches. I try to use functional approaches to determine mechanisms for presence, activity and function of genes and genomes in gut systems.

 

Tim Johnson

Associate Professor, Dept. of veterinary and biomedical sciences
University of Minnesota

Dr. Tim Johnson is a Professor of Microbiology at the University of Minnesota. He received his PhD in Molecular Pathogenesis from North Dakota State University in 2004, followed by postdoctoral studies at Iowa State University's College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Johnson joined the University of Minnesota's Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences in 2007. He has since developed an internationally-recognized research and outreach program focused on the genetic mechanisms enabling the spread of antibiotic resistance in Enterobacteriaceae.

Tim Johnson

Associate Professor, Dept. of veterinary and biomedical sciences
University of Minnesota

Dr. Tim Johnson is a Professor of Microbiology at the University of Minnesota. He received his PhD in Molecular Pathogenesis from North Dakota State University in 2004, followed by postdoctoral studies at Iowa State University's College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Johnson joined the University of Minnesota's Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences in 2007. He has since developed an internationally-recognized research and outreach program focused on the genetic mechanisms enabling the spread of antibiotic resistance in Enterobacteriaceae. In tandem, his work focuses on the identification of antibiotic alternatives that manipulate the animal microbiome allowing for enhanced growth and reduced disease. Dr. Johnson has been working towards defining the baseline gut and respiratory microbiomes in chickens and turkeys, finding bacteria that correlate with enhanced performance, and developing alternative-to-antibiotic strategies using this knowledge. Tim also currently serves as Director of Research and Development at the Mid-Central Research and Outreach Center's Poultry Research Laboratory in Willmar, MN.

 

Nicolas Derome

Département de biologie Faculté des sciences et de génie
Université Laval Diplomas

Nicolas Derome

Département de biologie Faculté des sciences et de génie
Université Laval Diplomas
 

Scott Gustin, DVM, MAM

Managing Director Vet Services
Tyson Foods Corporate

Scott is a native of Gloucester, Virginia growing up on a small family farm raising registered Angus and Hereford cattle.  He received his undergraduate and veterinary degrees at Virginia Tech in 1999 and 2002.  He went on to receive his Masters in Avian Medicine at the University of Georgia.  In 2004 he began his veterinary career at Cobb-Vantress in Siloam Springs.  While at Cobb his job functions included technical service for North America and Asia, internal veterinary service, and the World Director for Quality Assurance, focusing on Salmonella eradication programs.  For the past 6 yea

Scott Gustin, DVM, MAM

Managing Director Vet Services
Tyson Foods Corporate

Scott is a native of Gloucester, Virginia growing up on a small family farm raising registered Angus and Hereford cattle.  He received his undergraduate and veterinary degrees at Virginia Tech in 1999 and 2002.  He went on to receive his Masters in Avian Medicine at the University of Georgia.  In 2004 he began his veterinary career at Cobb-Vantress in Siloam Springs.  While at Cobb his job functions included technical service for North America and Asia, internal veterinary service, and the World Director for Quality Assurance, focusing on Salmonella eradication programs.  For the past 6 years he has held the position of Director of Veterinary Services, Domestic Poultry, for Tyson Foods in Springdale, Arkansas.  

 

Jason Ridlon

Assistant Professor of Gut Microbiology
University of Illinois Urbana

Bile acids are detergent molecules that allow absorption of dietary fats and fat-soluble vitamins into the bloodstream.  Bile acids are synthesized from cholesterol in the liver, secreted into the small intestine where fats are taken up, and transported back to the liver in a recycling process known as the enterohepatic circulation (EHC). The EHC is 95% efficient; however, several hundred milligrams of bile acids enters the large intestine each day where they are converted to toxic and growth-depressing, and carcinogenic secondary bile acids by gut bacteria.

Jason Ridlon

Assistant Professor of Gut Microbiology
University of Illinois Urbana

Bile acids are detergent molecules that allow absorption of dietary fats and fat-soluble vitamins into the bloodstream.  Bile acids are synthesized from cholesterol in the liver, secreted into the small intestine where fats are taken up, and transported back to the liver in a recycling process known as the enterohepatic circulation (EHC). The EHC is 95% efficient; however, several hundred milligrams of bile acids enters the large intestine each day where they are converted to toxic and growth-depressing, and carcinogenic secondary bile acids by gut bacteria. A major focus of our research is working out the biochemistry and molecular biology of the pathway that leads to secondary bile acids in Clostridium scindens and related species. Furthermore, the Ridlon lab is interested in using high-throughput sequencing and metabolomics in order to understand how Clostridium scindens interacts with the host and other microbes. Bile acids have become a major topic of research recently because far from simple detergents, these molecules are now recognized as hormones regulating diverse physiological and pathophysiological processes. Clostridium scindens can thus be thought of as a hormone-producing bacterium. Indeed, its very name means "to cut", an epithet given because it is capable of "cutting" the side chain of glucocorticoids resulting in the production of androstenes. Glucocorticoids and androstene measurement in stool is the principle means of determining stress in animals important to agriculture and conservation biology. Our lab works on the biochemical pathway leading to androstenes in Clostridium scindens and how these androstenes affect human and animal well-being. Taken together, our focus is on what we term the gut "sterolbiome", the repertoire of microbial genes that metabolize host-derived, dietary, and pharmaceutical steroid molecules. 

 

 

 

Jiangcho Zhao

Assistant Professor Department of Animal Sciences
University of Arkansas

 

My lab focuses on the roles that human and animal microbiome play in health and different diseases. We use interdisciplinary approaches such as multi-omics (e.g. metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, metabolomics), bioinformatics, statistics, big data and mixed culture to, for example:

 

    Characterize and engineer gastrointestinal microbiome to promote human healthy aging, increase animal nutrient utilization and efficiency, production and well-being;

Jiangcho Zhao

Assistant Professor Department of Animal Sciences
University of Arkansas

 

My lab focuses on the roles that human and animal microbiome play in health and different diseases. We use interdisciplinary approaches such as multi-omics (e.g. metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, metabolomics), bioinformatics, statistics, big data and mixed culture to, for example:

 

    Characterize and engineer gastrointestinal microbiome to promote human healthy aging, increase animal nutrient utilization and efficiency, production and well-being;

    Identify and apply prebiotics and probiotics to increase human and animal health and reduce antibiotics use;

    Study the ecology and evolution of human and animal microbiome;

    Identify airway microbiome biomarkers in human and animal respiratory diseases such as cystic fibrosis, COPD and Bovine Respiratory Disease for early and targeted therapy.

 

Scott Carter

Director, Enzyme Research and Development
Elanco Animal Health

Though he didn't grow up on a farm, Scott Carter comes from a long line of crop farmers and has always been connected to the mission farmers share everywhere: to feed the world affordable and safe food. His interests and career have been built on the application of new technologies to agriculture in the continual effort to improve food production efficiency and safety to meet the demands of an ever growing and hungry global population.

Scott Carter

Director, Enzyme Research and Development
Elanco Animal Health

Though he didn't grow up on a farm, Scott Carter comes from a long line of crop farmers and has always been connected to the mission farmers share everywhere: to feed the world affordable and safe food. His interests and career have been built on the application of new technologies to agriculture in the continual effort to improve food production efficiency and safety to meet the demands of an ever growing and hungry global population. His undergraduate degree in biochemistry comes from the Purdue University School of Agriculture, in 1993, and his PhD was earned in 1998 at the North Carolina State University Poultry Science Department in Nutrition, where he focused on the development and application of feed enzymes to poultry diets. Since graduating from North Carolina State University, Carter has worked in sales, sales management, technical support, and global marketing roles in a variety of nutritional feed additive companies. In 2011, Carter earned his MBA from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and joined Elanco as a Product Brand Director in the global marketing group in 2013.

 

Brian Oakley

Associate Professor
Western University of Health Sciences

I am a microbial ecologist interested in tackling important problems at the interface of basic and applied research.  The revolution in high-throughput DNA sequencing has conclusively demonstrated the importance of microbial communities for life on earth.

Brian Oakley

Associate Professor
Western University of Health Sciences

I am a microbial ecologist interested in tackling important problems at the interface of basic and applied research.  The revolution in high-throughput DNA sequencing has conclusively demonstrated the importance of microbial communities for life on earth.  Microbial ecology cuts across many fields and I have applied the tools and techniques of microbial ecology to disciplines ranging from oceanography to human and animal health.  My graduate training combined classical and microbial ecology but I only considered myself a microbiologist after working in the Microbiology Department of the University of Washington, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and the University of Warwick.  Four years as a research microbiologist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service gave me first-hand knowledge of the poultry industry and a chance to apply the tools and techniques of microbial ecology to veterinary microbiology.  Most of the current focus of my research is on the poultry microbiome and its relationships to food safety, infectious disease, and poultry nutrition.  Our standard toolkit combines field work with classical microbiology, microscopy, quantitative PCR, high-throughput 16S rRNA sequencing, metagenomics, and associated bioinformatics.  We are currently funded through several intramural mechanisms, extramural grants, and industry partnerships.

 

Steve Kazemi

CEO/ Co-Founder
Pure Cultures

Steve brings 20-years of manufacturing and operations management experience to the team. Steve founded Pure Cultures because he believes in the “wonder bugs” or probiotics and the benefits they bring to our society. Steve is often called upon as a consultant for struggling companies with their quality systems.

Steve Kazemi

CEO/ Co-Founder
Pure Cultures

Steve brings 20-years of manufacturing and operations management experience to the team. Steve founded Pure Cultures because he believes in the “wonder bugs” or probiotics and the benefits they bring to our society. Steve is often called upon as a consultant for struggling companies with their quality systems.

 

Tim McAllister

Principle Scientist Research
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Dr. Tim McAllister grew up on his parents’ cow/calf farm in Innisfail, AB. He obtained a B.Sc. (Agr) and M.Sc. from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, and a Ph.D. (with distinction) in ruminant nutrition and microbiology from the University of Guelph, ON. He accepted an NSERC post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Calgary in 1991, and joined Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Lethbridge, AB in 1992. Dr. McAllister has been a research scientist in Rumen Microbiology, Feed and Nutrition since 1997.

Tim McAllister

Principle Scientist Research
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Dr. Tim McAllister grew up on his parents’ cow/calf farm in Innisfail, AB. He obtained a B.Sc. (Agr) and M.Sc. from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, and a Ph.D. (with distinction) in ruminant nutrition and microbiology from the University of Guelph, ON. He accepted an NSERC post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Calgary in 1991, and joined Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Lethbridge, AB in 1992. Dr. McAllister has been a research scientist in Rumen Microbiology, Feed and Nutrition since 1997. His research focuses on microbiology, nutrition and beef production and on food and environmental safety issues related to livestock production, strategies for mitigation of Escherichia coli O157:H7, prion inactivation within the environment, and more recently, studies of antimicrobial resistance in bacteria in feedlots. He also has extensive research experience in GHG emissions within animals from manure and the impact of manure handling procedures, such as composting, on emissions. Dr. McAllister has conducted research to examine microbiological and nutritional approaches for mitigating ruminal methanogenesis, and emission of nitrous oxide and methane during composting, using strategies including the use of plant extracts, methanogen inhibitors and dietary formulations to limit methane production. He is the author or co-author of over 520 peer-reviewed scientific papers and 60 reviews, as well as 800 abstracts and conference proceedings, and over 100 final reports for collaborative research projects. Dr. McAllister has been recognized internationally for his leadership role and significant contributions to agricultural research and innovation in the areas of ruminant nutrition/microbiology and molecular biology as they apply to animal health, environmental health and food quality for the benefit of the agricultural industry in Alberta, Canada, and beyond.

 

Xandra Smith

Research Manager
Arm & Hammer

My career path has led me to not only travel extensively, but has allowed me to develop the competencies that I need in order to successfully develop new microbial products. An initial interest in becoming a Park Ranger was thwarted by my Dad, who much wiser than me (and not wanting to support a grown daughter) suggested I include sciences other than Botany and Zoology into my curriculum.

Xandra Smith

Research Manager
Arm & Hammer

My career path has led me to not only travel extensively, but has allowed me to develop the competencies that I need in order to successfully develop new microbial products. An initial interest in becoming a Park Ranger was thwarted by my Dad, who much wiser than me (and not wanting to support a grown daughter) suggested I include sciences other than Botany and Zoology into my curriculum. I chose microbiology and was soon fascinated by the complexity of the microbial world especially when I had the chance to study anaerobic fungi, a small part of the complex microbiota of the rumen, essential for digestion in ruminants, as an Honors project. An internship at the Laboratory for Microbial Ecology at the University of Gent, Belgium cemented my interest in microbial ecology. My official research career started at the Agriculture Research Council in South Africa where I became proficient in anaerobic microbiological culture and fermentations, while developing a probiotic product (now commercially available in the United States) to prevent ruminal acidosis in cattle. Knowing how the diet has a profound effect on the microbiota in the gut I chose to study a Ph.D.at the University of Illinois to determine how the microbiota adapt to and metabolize plant secondary compounds. Acaciella (Acacia) angustissima was the chosen shrub as it develops biomass rapidly, has high protein content, but was deleterious to sheep when fed at high levels. Evaluation of its toxic effects in rats determined that the main anti-nutritional compounds were proanthocyanidin polyphenolics (condensed tannins). There were profound changes in gut microbiota and phenolic metabolites in the urine when the condensed tannins were purified and fed at non-physiological levels to the rats indicating that the bacteria able to modify these compounds are naturally present at low levels in the gut. I then went on to Postdoc at Southwestern Medical Center to gain an understanding of protein expression in bacteria to determine how genes of interest are turned on when needed. In 2007 I returned to gut microbiology as Ruminant Research director at Agtech Products. Here we used our competence in microbial ecology to understand the complex interactions between microbes and their environment in order to develop microbial solutions for both food and feed applications. Probiotics to reduce scours in calves, increase milk production in dairy cows and reduce methane in beef cattle were developed in this time. In order to better understand the mode of action of the bacterial products developed we sequenced the genomes and studied the genetic pathways unique to the chosen probiotic strains. Danisco, which in turn was acquired by DuPont, purchased Agtech Products in 2008. Study of microbial communities and the unique genetic capabilities of bacterial strains were expanded to other areas within DuPont when the Genomics and Ecology of Microbes team was established in 2011. My team’s focus was to use next generation sequencing to assemble and mine genomes of commercially relevant bacteria and to determine the microbial diversity in food, intestines and soil in order to use this information for new product development. This focus was continued as a co-owner of Agro BioSciences in 2013, which was acquired by Church and Dwight (Arm and Hammer Animal Nutrition) in May 2017. My chosen career has led me to use molecular tools to understand the diversity and functional capabilities of bacteria in the gut and their response to dietary components, but more importantly to determine ways to use the knowledge gained to manipulate the ecosystem for improved functionality and thereby host health. 

 

Anna Skaya

CEO
basepaws.com

Anna is the founder and CEO of Basepaws, a pet genetics company. Beyond working with pet owners across the world and caring about pet health, Anna is involved in many pet-related groups and event in her local Los Angeles. Her company Basepaws is helping bring visibility to feline health, and massively underfunded area of pet research. Using feline DNA to build animal models for studying disease in both pets and people is something Anna is really proud to be doing. 

Anna Skaya

CEO
basepaws.com

Anna is the founder and CEO of Basepaws, a pet genetics company. Beyond working with pet owners across the world and caring about pet health, Anna is involved in many pet-related groups and event in her local Los Angeles. Her company Basepaws is helping bring visibility to feline health, and massively underfunded area of pet research. Using feline DNA to build animal models for studying disease in both pets and people is something Anna is really proud to be doing. 

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