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Speakers

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Yemi Adesokan
Co-founder & CSO
Gnubiotics Sciences

Dr. Yemi Adesokan is Chief Scientific Officer at Gnubiotics SA,  a Lausanne, Switzerland based biotech company. Yemi has been recognized for his innovative and pioneering work with awards such as the 2012 Boston Business Journal 40 under 40 award and the 2011 MIT Technology Review’s annual list of 35 top global innovators under the age of 35 TR35. Yemi has a PhD in Chemistry from the University of California, Irvine and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Genetics at Harvard Medical School.

Kristi Smedley
Vice-President & Owner
Center for Regulatory Services, Inc.

Kristi O. Smedley, Ph.D.—Dr. Smedley has worked in the area of the regulation of animal feed for 31 years. She is the Vice President and owner of the consulting firm, Center for Regulatory Services, Inc. The major focus of Dr. Smedley’s regulatory advice is animal feed and human food ingredients.  She is the author of the two International Feed Ingredient Federation comparative studies on the regulation of feed ingredients among various countries/jurisdictions in the world.  Her first 10 years she served with the Center for Veterinary Medicine, Food and Drug Administration in the Division of Animal Feeds and the Petitions and Regulations Branch. During this time, she coordinated the FDA response to the challenge of the selenium regulation, the establishment of federal regulations for the prevention of BSE, as well as, assessment of new feed ingredients (additives). Dr. Smedley received her Bachelor of Science from Penn State (Biology) and her Master and Doctorate degrees from Virginia Tech, in Animal Science (focusing on Ruminant Nutrition).

Howard Green
Director of Regulatory Affairs
Ascus Biosciences

Experienced Director of Regulatory Affairs with a demonstrated history of working in the animal and pharmaceuticals industry. Previously Howard was Director of Dairy Technical Services at Elanco Animal Health. Skilled in Customer Service, Agribusiness, Pharmaceutical Industry, Animal Nutrition, and Agriculture. Strong support professional graduated from Iowa State University.

Megan Lyman
Vice President – Legal Affairs
Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc.

Megan Lyman is VP of Legal Affairs at Alexandria Real Estate Equities. Working with the Science and Technology team through Alexandria Venture Investments, Megan provides insight in diligence and follow on investing, as well as strategic support for seed investment companies. Previously, Megan served as Counsel specializing in IP and Regulatory strategy at AgTech Accelerator. She has extensive experience in creating and supporting IP portfolios for entrepreneurs, small businesses, and universities. Starting her legal career at Jones Day, Ms. Lyman practiced in IP litigation and prosecution before opening her own practice in Research Triangle, NC. With a focus in the life sciences, Ms. Lyman assisted scientists and business people alike in determining comprehensive IP strategies as well as corporate counsel needs. She has specific expertise in patent landscaping, freedom to operate, patent prosecution, appeal, IPR, and licensing.

Jess Jarett
Computational Biologist
AnimalBiome

Jessica Jarett joined AnimalBiome as a Computational Biologist in 2018, after earning a PhD in microbiology from the  University of New Hampshire and conducting postdoctoral research at the DOE Joint Genome Institute. She conducts research on the effects of diet and fecal microbiome transplants on the microbiome of companion animals, leveraging this information to generate insights for customized dietary recommendations to improve the health of dogs and cats. She is passionate about continuously advancing microbiome science for companion animals, and developing novel microbiome restoration therapies.

Xandra Smith
Research Manager
Arm & Hammer Animal and Food Production

Dr. Alexandra (Xandra) Smith is the Manager of Microbial Ecology and Genetics at Arm and Hammer, where her role is to develop new microbial-based products to enhance the health and production efficiency of livestock. Xandra is a microbiologist who graduated from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign with a Ph.D. in Animal Science. Xandra leads the team using molecular tools to exploit microbial diversity and unleash the functional potential of bacteria in the gut, understand their interactions with dietary components, and manipulate the ecosystem for improved functionality and health. This approach has led to several targeted microbial solutions used by livestock producers to optimize the microbial ecosystems within the animals and their environment, thereby improving animal productivity.

John Gregg
CEO
BalinBac Therapeutics, Inc

John Gregg leads BalinBac Therapeutics, "The Microbiome Optimization Company", a biopharmaceutical organization that will transform the treatment of gastro-intestinal conditions in humans and livestock animals. Responsible for corporate vision, strategy, & execution of projects that will revolutionize weight control in people and livestock animals as well as innovatively advancing the treatment of debilitating and deadly GI / infectious diseases.

Brandon Reinbold
Principal Research Scientist
Elanco

Brandon earned his DVM from the University of Missouri and PhD from Kansas State University. After his PhD, Brandon worked as an editor for the American Veterinary Medical Association for 1 year before joining Elanco in 2011. Brandon worked for Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. beginning in 2013 before returning to Elanco in 2016. Brandon’s research focus is evaluating the efficacy and safety of antibiotic alternatives in cattle and swine.

Arvind Kumar
Leader - Discovery Biology Research (Bacteriology & Parasitology) ERL, Global Vaccines and Biologics
Elanco

Arvind graduated in Veterinary Medicine with specialization in Veterinary Microbiology (MVSc) from India. Following early years in mixed Veterinary practice, he served as Assistant Professor Veterinary Microbiology in the Vet School Palampur HP, India. He started his career in infection and immunity research with Masters in Immunology from Imperial College School of Medicine, London and PhD in Veterinary Microbiology from University of Edinburgh (UK) in 2005. He was hired by Lohmann Animal Health GmbH as Director Research based in Hannover, Germany from 2012-15. After merger with Elanco Animal Health, he served as Director Research Poultry Vaccines (EU) based in Germany. In 2016, He moved to the US in the Global Vaccine Research team, as Leader Bacteriology - Vaccine Research Centre Elanco Animal Health, based in Indianapolis. Currently, he is serving as Research Advisor and Leader – Discovery Biology Research (Bacteriology & Parasitology) ERL, Global Research and External Innovation, at the Elanco Global Headquarters in Indiana.

Jennifer Radosevich
Worldwide Director of Research
Hill’s Pet Nutrition

Dr. Jennifer Radosevich is currently the Worldwide Director of Research at Hill’s Pet Nutrition where she is responsible for leading the early research team to develop new nutritional  technologies for companion animal food. Research platforms include nutrigenetics, nutrigenomics, metabolomics, and microbiomics. She completed her PhD in Biochemistry / Molecular Cellular and Developmental Biology at Iowa State University and has held leadership positions in associations as the former Chair of the American Feed Industry Association and Vice Chair of the Iowa Biotechnology Association. She is a current member of the BioKansas organization. She has over 20 years industry experience leveraging innovation to further business goals in the agribusiness, human and pet food markets.

Phillip Myer
Assistant Professor
University of Tennessee

Dr. Phillip Myer is an Assistant Professor and rumen and gastrointestinal microbiologist in the Department of Animal Science at the University of Tennessee. He received his BS in Biology from Bradley University and completed his Ph.D. at Purdue University in Microbiology. He then joined the USDA U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center Nebraska as a Postdoctoral Research Associate focusing on improving feed efficiency in beef cattle. At the University of Tennessee, Dr. Myer continues this microbiology-focused approach for examining and optimizing the nutritional status of beef cattle, considering the complex interactions among the gut microbiome, host genetics, diet, environment, and management.

Dari Brown
Senior Director, Livestock Technical Innovation
Purina Animal Nutrition, LLC - Land O’Lakes, Inc.

Dr. Brown leads Purina Animal Nutrition’s Technical Innovations team consisting of R&D Feed/Additive and Technical Solutions groups to bring new solutions to producers to optimize performance and profits in the US and International markets (Kenya, Mexico and China).  Her Ph.D. is in Nutritional Immunology and her research endeavors explored interactions of diet, microbiome and immunity as a means to optimize animal performance.

Huyen Tran
Senior Research Scientist, Swine Feed R&D
Purina Animal Nutrition, LLC - Land O’Lakes, Inc.

Dr. Huyen Tran received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine with highest distinction in 2005 at Nong Lam University in Hochiminh city, Vietnam. After two years working in the industry in Vietnam, Dr. Tran attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she received her M.S. (2009) and Ph.D. (2013) degrees in Animal Science focusing her research on the interaction of nursery pig nutrition and gut health. Upon the completion of her Ph.D., Dr. Tran continued her postdoctoral training at the University of Nebraska focused on the evaluation of probiotic and prebiotic products as antibiotic-alternatives for nursery pigs. Prior to joining Purina Animal Nutrition as Sr. Swine Research Scientist in October 2016, Dr. Tran was Postdoctoral Scholar for the National Animal Nutrition Program (2014-2016). The highlights of her contributions included the development of feed composition databases for beef and dairy that were recently implemented in the revision of the beef NRC-feed composition chapter. Dr. Tran’s research focuses on understanding the impact of dietary intervention on growth performance, gut microbiome, and health status of young animals. At Purina Animal Nutrition, Dr. Tran is the Lead for Young Animal Microbiome projects which involve multiple livestock and lifestyle species.

Matthew Koci
Associate Professor, Immunology, Virology & Host-Pathogen Interactions
NC State

Matt got his undergraduate degree from Virginia Tech in Biology before going to get a MS in Infectious Diseases and a PhD in Veterinary Pathology at the University of Georgia.  After a short post-doc at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Medical Microbiology and Immunology he joined the faculty at NC State.  There he works on host-pathogen interactions, focusing mostly on enteric viruses and bacteria.  Over the past 14 years his group has focused on developing methods of promoting gut health and immunity through manipulation of the microbiome.

Christian Maltecca
Professor of Quantitative Genetics & Breeding
North Carolina State University

Dr. Maltecca is a professor of quantitative genetics and breeding in the Animal Science department at NC State. His research is focused on genomic improvement of economically relevant traits in livestock. His main interests are in the area of genomic prediction and genome-wide association for functional traits. Additional research in his group is focused on the impact of genomic selection on long-term variation and fitness and the optimization of statistical methods and breeding schemes under genomic selection.

Mirja Huhtinen
Animal Health Development Director
Orion Pharma R&D

With more than 19 years of experience in Animal Health Pharmaceutical Research and Development, I have contributed significantly to several novel and generic product authorizations for both farm and companion animals. I graduated in 1988 from Veterinary College in Helsinki and started my career as a Research Fellow at MTT Agrifood Research, first at Animal Breeding Department in Jokioinen and later at Equine Research in Ypäjä where I worked at the stud farm and carried out research regarding equine reproduction and embryo transfer. Upon completion of my PhD in 1999, I joined the pharmaceutical industry and started as a Development Manager at Orion Pharma Animal Health in Turku. Since 2005 I have been the Head of Animal Health in the joint (human and AH) Clinical R&D. Currently in my position as Development Director, I am leading the Animal Health R&D Therapy Area team and representing R&D in the Animal Health Business Team. Orion Pharma R&D develops proprietary products for global markets. Our best known Animal Health brands are Sileo, Domosedan, Dexdomitor, Domitor, Antisedan and Broilact.

Tim Johnson
Assistant Professor of Animal Sciences
Purdue University

Tim earned his BS from Brigham Young University. He completed his PhD work at the Center for Microbial Ecology at Michigan State University, where is research focused on microbial ecology in soil, animals and manure. His PhD work provided a quantitative measure of diverse impacts of in-feed antibiotics on bacterial community membership and antimicrobial resistance genes. Tim then completed his first postdoc position at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada where he investigated antimicrobial resistance and drug discovery. In a second postdoc at the National Animal Disease Center, he used multi ’omics (metagenomics, metabolomics, metatranscriptomics, and 16S community profiling) approaches to studying the swine and turkey microbiome in efforts to find alternatives to antibiotics in animal agriculture. Now his lab at Purdue, his lab has two research goals: 1) to understand the diverse impacts of antimicrobial use in agriculture on microbial communities and antibiotic resistant genes, and the sustainability of these impacts; and 2) to manipulate the microbiome to improve nutrition and health in food animals, largely poultry and swine.

Christopher Belnap
CEO
Resilient Biotics

Chris currently serves as CEO of Resilient Biotics, a company he co-founded and launched within the Illumina Accelerator program. Resilient Biotics utilizes metagenomic-based network analyses and machine learning tools to explore microbiome systems and uncover novel therapeutic opportunities to combat respiratory infectious diseases. With an advanced genomic platform that integrates host and microbial genomic data, Resilient is developing the next class of non-antibiotic therapeutics. Chris has a background in microbial systems analyses and has spent his career as a scientific leader investigating complex microbiome communities. Prior to Resilient, Chris led projects focused on microbiome product discovery for plant and animal agricultural applications at DuPont Pioneer, and Taxon Biosciences (acquired by DuPont). Chris received his Ph.D. in microbiology at the University of California, Berkeley, and was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship grant to study human microbiome communities at the University of California, San Francisco.

Harry Paul
CEO
Tharos

Harry is an entrepreneur with more than 25 years’ experience in pharma and medical devices. He has held international management roles at Roche and Boston Scientific in the UK, Latin America and India. In 2007 Harry founded H Paul & Partners in Argentina, developing projects in the Latin American agricultural sector, working in olive oil, grain production, cattle and farmland acquisition and development. In 2015 he founded LatAm HQ Health Ltd, providing regulatory, marketing and distribution solutions for health companies entering Latin America. Harry is a keen linguist, speaking Spanish, Portuguese and French fluently. He also has a passion for horses, having bred and trained polo ponies in Argentina for several years.

Michael Flythe
Research Microbiologist
USDA-ARS

I am the rumen and gastrointestinal microbiologist at the USDA-ARS-MSA, Forage-Animal Production Research Unit in Lexington, Kentucky. Our Unit Mission: Improving the productivity, competitiveness, and sustainability of forage-based enterprises within the transition zone between the subtropical southeast and temperate northeast.

Michael Kogut
Lead Scientist/ Research Microbiologist
USDA-ARS

Dr. Kogut has been an active and productive researcher for over 30 years, the last 24 of which have been with the USDA-ARS.  He is currently a Research Microbiologist and Lead Scientist of the project plan entitled “A Systems Biology Approach to Understanding the Salmonella-host Interactome in Poultry and Swine” managed within the Food and Feed Safety Research Unit at the Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center, College Station, Texas.  As Lead Scientist, Dr. Kogut coordinates scientific activities of participating scientists; evaluates and recommends changes to the project; prepares annual reports; provides technical information and consultation pertaining to assigned projects, both internal and external to ARS.

Tim Johnson
Associate Professor
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.

Garret Suen
Associate Professor of Bacteriology
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Dr. Suen received Bachelors in Biological and Computer Sciences from the University of Calgary, Canada and then completed a Masters in Computer Sciences at the University of Calgary. He then went on to earn a PhD from Syracuse University where he studied the genomics of the swarming predatory bacterium Myxococcus xanthus. He then joined the lab of Cameron Currie as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he analysed the first metagenome of the fungus garden of leaf-cutter ants in addition to sequencing the genome of the ant itself. He started his own independent lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a research focus on manipulating the microbiome of dairy cows to improve milk production efficiency. To date, he has published over 70 peer-reviewed papers.

Sarah Raabis
DVM DACVIM (LAIM), Clinical Instructor & PhD Candidate
University of Wisconsin-Madison

I completed my DVM degree at Tufts University.  I continued my advanced training by completing an internship in Food Animal Medicine and Surgery at Colorado State University and a residency in Large Animal Internal Medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where I am currently finishing my PhD. My research focus is on studying the respiratory microbiota of dairy calves and understanding how manipulating commensal bacterial populations may reduce the risk of infection and abate the use of antibiotics on farms.