How can we expect our livestock to acquire a healthy microbiome when there is such limited exposure to the microbes that they evolved with?
University of Alberta. Canada
General Position Description: Assistant Professor and Canada Research Chair in the Microbiology of Nutrigenomics
Specialty Area: Gut Microbiology, Innate Immunity & Metabolic disease
Areas of Study/Academic Interests: diet-microbe-host interactions, microbiota in disease resilience of pigs and chickens, fermented dairy products & basic biology of the microbiota
Education: BSc Agr. 2000 University of British Columbia, Phd 2007 University of Saskatchewan
Biography: Dr. Ben Willing is an Assistant Professor and Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in the Microbiology of Nutrigenomics at the University of Alberta. He completed his BSc (Agr) at the University of British Columbia and his PhD in Animal and Poultry Science at the University of Saskatchewan. He has made important contributions in the understanding of microbes in intestinal development, inflammatory bowel disease, infection resistance and metabolic health. His research group is working to understand both fundamental and applied questions in gut microbiology. Fundamental research includes identifying mechanisms through which specific core members of the microbiome regulate host physiology using germfree rodent and piglet models. Applied questions include examining the role that microbes play in shaping health benefits associated with dietary intervention and to identify the impacts of early life antibiotics on metabolic disease development.
Teaching Responsibilities: Animal Science 311 (Metabolic Physiology of Domestic Animals), Interdisciplinary studies 525 (Commensal Bacteria and Gastrointestinal Health)
Research/Scholarship Responsibilities: Active research team of 7 graduate students, 2 undergrads and 2 postdocs; co-director of the University of Alberta germfree animal facility; Editorial board member for ISME Journal and Frontiers in Microbiology; AFNS Graduate Program Committee
Professional Memberships: Canadian Society of Animal Science, Women’s and Children’s Health Research Institute, Centre for Excellence for Gastrointestinal Inflammation and Immunity Research, Livestock Gentec
Grants: Grants funded since 2013, $2.44 million as principle investigator, and $7.7 million total.
Publications: He has 35 peer reviewed scientific articles and 4 book chapters
Awards & Honors: International Life Sciences Institute Future Leader Award; Faculty Innovation Award, Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences; Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Canadian Association of Gastroenterology Postdoctoral Fellowship
Updated CV 24-Nov-2016