Dr. B. Brett Finlay is the Peter Wall Distinguished Professor at the University of British Columbia (UBC). He obtained a B.Sc. in biochemistry at the University of Alberta, where, in 1986, he also received his Ph.D. in biochemistry under Dr. William Paranchych, studying F-like plasmid conjugation. His postdoctoral 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-pathogen interactions at the molecular level. By combining cell biology with microbiology, he has been at the forefront of the emerging field called cellular microbiology, making several fundamental discoveries in this field and publishing more than 300 papers. His laboratory studies several pathogenic bacteria, with Salmonella and pathogenic E. coli interactions with host cells being the primary focus.
He is well recognized internationally for his work and has won several prestigious awards including the E.W.R. Steacie Prize, the Fisher Scientific Award from the Canadian Society of Microbiologists, a British Columbia Biotech Innovation award, the Michael Smith Health Research Prize, the IDSA Squibb Award, the Jacob Biely Prize, the Canadian Killam Health Sciences Prize, and the Flavelle Medal of the Royal Society. He has been named an MRC Scientist and a CIHR Distinguished Investigator. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada and the Order of British Columbia. He is a cofounder of Inimex Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and director of the SARS Accelerated Vaccine Initiative. Dr. Finlay has received five HHMI international research scholar awards, and he served as lecturer for the 1999 HHMI Holiday Lectures on Science.
RESEARCH ABSTRACT SUMMARY:
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B. Brett Finlay is studying the pathogenic strains of E. coli bacteria, which account for significant illness and death worldwide. He is investigating the specific mechanisms by which E. coli attaches and interacts with host cells. Specifically, Finlay hopes to determine which E. coli genes are associated with pathogenicity, how E. coli interacts with hosts cells at the molecular level, and how E. coli disease mechanisms relate to animal colonization, shedding, and disease.
Photo: David Rolls