The core team

Behzad Kalantarpour, BSC, Technician, JOINT WITH KEES PLAIZIER, 2015-2017

Behzad has a BSc in Animal Science and many years of experience working as a herdsman in large dairy cattle operations. He was our dairy technician and was managing the day-to-day activities during animal trials. He joined the team at DairySmart Nutrition. 

 

DOROTHY MOSETI, MSC, TECHNICIAN, 2015-2017

Dorothy obtained a BSc in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya and her MSc in Animal Science from University of Manitoba. She has extensive experience in cell culture, and DNA- and RNA-based molecular techniques. Dorothy was directing graduate students in their day-to-day activities in my lab.

 

ALESSI KWAWUKUME, MSC Student, 2014-2017

Alessi obtained her MSc in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Ghana, Ghana. She joined my team for a second MSc at University of Manitoba focusing on "The role of sow’s vaginal and fecal microbiomes on  development of piglets gut microbiome and prevalence of neonatal diarrhea". She applied 16S rRNA gene sequencing and bioinformatics/statistical analyses to address these questions. Her project was of significant importance for the swine industry.

 

PERIS MUNYAKA, MSC, PHD STUDENT, JOINT WITH JEAN-ERIC GHIA, 2013-2017

Peris received her MSc in Nutritional Immunology from the University of Manitoba.  Her PhD research was focused on "The role of maternal factors in later susceptibility of offsprings to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and the application of pre- and probiotics in prevention and treatment of IBD". She used both mouse and pig models of colitis in her research and obtained extensive experience with various molecular techniques for studying microbiome-host interactions. in 2017, she moved to Alberta joining Dr. Ben Willing's lab as a post-doctoral fellow.

 

YANAN WANG, MSC, PHD, POST-DOCTORAL FELLOW, 2016

Yanan started her undergrad studies in China Agricultural University, and obtained her BSc and MSc in Biotechnology from Wageningen University, the Netherlands. She completed an internship program at the Department of Human Nutrition at the University of British Columbia, Canada, and obtained her PhD in Human Nutritional Sciences from the University of Manitoba. She worked with me as a PDF on different aspects of microbiome-host interactions in human and animal models. In late 2016, Yanan moved to Australia and joined the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute as a junior scientist.

 

DOUGLAS VELDHUISEN, BSC, 2015-2016

Doug obtained a BSc in Microbiology and a second degree in Animal Science from the University of Manitoba. He was also a dairy herdsman for one and a half years. During his work as a summer student in my lab he was involved in running a large dairy transition study and performed different analyses on the samples collected from this project including VFA, ammonia and LPS measurements, DNA extraction from digesta and tissue, as well as PCR amplification and Illumina sequencing. Doug joined the veterinary program at University of Saskatchewan.

 

MATTHEW TORNOPOLSKI, BSC, 2016

Matthew obtained a BSc in Microbiology and a second degree in Animal Science from the University of Manitoba. He was TA of multiple courses including Anatomy and Physiology and developed an in-depth understanding of nutri-physio-microbiology of the gut during his undergrad studies. He worked as an undergrad student with my team over two summers running a large dairy transition study and performed different analyses on the samples collected from this project including VFA, ammonia, LPS, and acute phase protein measurements, DNA extraction from digesta and tissue, as well as PCR amplification and Illumina sequencing.

 

SHUCONG LI, MSC, PHD, RESEARCH ASSOCIATE, JOINT WITH KEES PLAIZIER, 2013- Jun 2016

Shucong received his MSc and PhD in ruminant nutrition and had many years of experience working on metabolic disorders of dairy cattle in particular subacute ruminal acidosis. He had also extensive experience in different laboratory techniques as well as in bioinformatics and statistical analyses of data. He was mentoring graduate students and directing technical staff in their day-to-day activities.

 

ALAN KOTZ, MSC STUDENT, JOINT WITH KEES PLAIZIER, 2013-2016

Allan received his BSc in Microbiology from the University of Manitoba. His master project focused on "Characterization of the microbial communities in the digestive tract of cattle to estimate and mitigate enteric methane emissions".  He was using metagenomics and bioinformatics tools to generate baseline data for the characterization of microbiomes in the rumen and hindgut.  Allan's project was a multidisciplinary and involved a team of researchers that were affiliated with different departments at University of Manitoba and the National Centre for Livestock and the Environment. He joined the team at Life Science Association of Manitoba in 2016.

 

HEIN MIN TUN, DVM, MSC, PHD, POST-DOCTORAL FELLOW, 2014-2016

Dr. Tun received his DVM from University of Veterinary Science, Naypyitaw, Myanmar, his MSc in Veterinary Public Health from Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand, and his PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR. He was the general manager of my lab and had an active role in  mentoring graduate students, safety training, directing technical staff, and dealing with administrative issues. He had extensive experience in molecular biology, next generation sequencing, microbiology and virulogy. He was involved in several projects on different aspects of microbiome research in dairy, swine, human and the environment. He played a key role in writing grant proposals, designing and developing new research projects, lab and data analyses and interpretation of data and writing of manuscripts. Hein moved to Dr. Anita Kozyrskyj's lab at Department of Paediatrics, University of Alberta as a post-doctoral fellow in April 2016.

 

MUSARRAT JAHAN, MSC, PHD, POST-DOCTORAL FELLOW, JOINT WITH ANNEMIKE FARENHORST 2015-2016

Musarrat obtained her MSc in Microbiology from University of Dhaka, Bangladesh, and her PhD in Food Microbiology and Food Safety from the University of Manitoba. The focus of her post-doctoral research was on First Nations drinking water microbial community profiling using MiSeq Illumina sequencing and bioinformatic analyses of data. She continued to work at Dr. Farenhorst lab as of March 2016 on water born pathogen source tracking.

 

DAVID PU, MSC, PHD, RESEARCH ASSISTANT, 2015

Dr. Pu's research was focused on impacts of canola and flax oils in dietary interventions on modulation of vascular function and biomarkers of cardiovascular disease risks. David also evaluated the impact of these healthy oils on gut microbiome composition and function; and was involved in development of several grant proposals for submission to Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada. 

 

Ru Li, MSc, PhD, POST-DOCTORAL FELLOW, JOINT WITH ANNEMIKE FARENHORST, 2013-2014

Dr. Li's post-doctoral research focused on "Water microbiome in First Nation communities" as part of the CREATE H2O project. Ru had extensive experience in DNA- and RNA-based molecular microbiology, sequencing, bioinformatics and statistics. She joined the Department of plant protection, Yunnan Agricultural University, Kunming, Yunnan province, China as a research scientist in the October of 2014.

 

RILEY HARTMANN, MSC, MEDICAL MICROBIOLOGY, 2012-2013

Following completion of his MSc, Riley entered Medical School at University of Calgary to start his training in Medicine. His MSc project was focused on "The altered gut microbiome in metabolic syndrome" the result of which were published in two manuscripts in PLoS ONE and Journal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry. 

 

Paula Azevedo, MSC, PHD, TECHNICIAN, 2012-2014

Paula's projects focused on "Rumen and hind-gut microbiomse in young calves and dairy cattle". She joined clinical labs at St Boniface Hospital and Health Sciences Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

 

Alexander Yietbarek, MSc, Technician, 2013

Alex has extensive experience in DNA- and RNA-based molecular microbiology/immunology and was involved in number of projects in my lab. He joined Nutreco, Canada and currently pursuing his PhD studies at University of Guelph. 

 

Navjot Virdi (Nandha), DVM, MSc, Technician, 2012-2013

Navjot was the general manager of my laboratory and was involved in a number of projects in my lab. She joined the CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) team as a Veterinarian.

 

Wenhua Tang, MSc, PHD, Technician, 2011-2013

Wenhua's projects focused on "Gut microbiome research in humans and experimental models of human diseases". She joined clinical labs at St Boniface Hospital, Winnipeg, MB.

 

Lab affiliates

AZIN KHAFIPOUR, IMMUNOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF MANITOBA, MSC STUDENT WITH JEAN-ERIC GHIA, 2014-2017

New interventions for reducing gut microbial dysbiosis in DNBS-induced colitis in mice.

 

MAHSHID RADFAR, ANIMAL SCIENCE, UNIVERSITY OF MANITOBA, PHD STUDENT WITH BOGDAN SLOMINSKI, 2014-2016

Brassica napus and Brassica juncea canola meals for broiler chickens: the effect of enzyme supplementation on performance and gut microbiota composition.

 

POURIA JABARI, CIVIL ENGINEERING, UNIVERSITY OF MANITOBA, PHD STUDENT WITH JAN OLESZKIEWICZ, 2015

The impact of waste water treatment on microbial community composition and function.

 

JOSH MCCANN,  ANIMAL SCIENCE, UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT URBANA-CHAMPAGN, PHD STUDENT WITH JUAN LOOR, 2015

Rumen microbiome composition and function in metabolic disorders of ruminants. Josh joined the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as a faculty.

 

EMILI BARBA VIDAL, ANIMAL SCIENCE, UNIVERSITAT AUTÒNOMA DE BARCELONA, SPAIN, PHD STUDENT WITH SUSANA MARÍA MARTÍN ORUE, 2015

Improving gut health in piglets: the role of gut microbiota.

 

RAKEL ARRAZURIA, NEIKER-TECNALIA BASQUE INSTITUTE FOR AGRICULTURAL, SPAIN, PHD STUDENT WITH NATALIA ELGEZABAL AND RAMON JUSTE, 2015

Rakel's project was in part focused on the "Gut microbiome profiling in a rabbit model of Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis".

 

YANAN WANG, HUMAN NUTRITIONAL SCIENCE, UNIVERSITY OF MANITOBA, PHD STUDENT WITH NANCY AMES AND PETER JONES, 2012-2015

Yanan's project was in part focused on the "lImpact of high molecular weight barley β-glucan on human gut microbiota and risk factors for cardiovascular disease". The result of this research was published in Frontiers in Microbiology.

 

HAMIDREZA KHAZANEHEI, ANIMAL SCIENCE, UNIVERSITY OF MANITOBA, PHD WITH KEES PLAIZIER, 2011-2015

Hamidreza was one of the key members of my lab and had significant contribution to the development and optimization of protocols and pipelines in my sequencing platform. Hamid's PhD project focused on "Physiology, gene expression and gut microbiome dynamics of transition dairy cattle".  

 

Preethi Velayutham, Biosystem Engineering, University of Manitoba, MSC with David Levin, 2013-2015

Preethi's MSc project focused on "Microbial community studies in biohydrogenator".

 

Ru Li, Plant Science, University of Manitoba, PhD with Dilantha Fernando, 2011-2013

Ru did majority of her PhD work in my lab. Her PhD project focused on "Exploring bacterial communities in the soil and their function for plant health under different cropping systems". 

 

Yue Shang, Animal Science, University of Manitoba, MSc with Woo Kyun Kim, 2012-2013

Yue is currently pursuing her PhD studies. Her MSc project was on "Dietary supplementation of fructooligosaccharide as an alternative to antibiotics on growth performance, immune response, intestinal morphology and gut microbiome of broiler chicks after challenge with salmonella enteritidis lipopolysaccharide". 

 

KANE CHRISTIUK, ANIMAL SCIENCE, University of Manitoba, MSC WITH KIM OMINSKI, 2012

Following completion of his MSc, Kane entered the Veterinary Medicine program at the University of Saskatchewan. His MSc project focused on "The impact of diet and environment on the abundance, diversity and virulence of fecal Escherichia coli shed from beef or dairy cattle".