Dr. B. Brett Finlay, OC, OBC, FRSC, FCAHS, is a UBC Peter Wall Distinguished Professor and a Professor in the Michael Smith Laboratories, Microbiolgy and Immunology, and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Co-director and Senior Fellow for the CIFAR Humans and Microbes program. He is also co-author of the book Let Them Eat Dirt: Saving Your Child from an Oversanitized World. Finlay is the author of over 500 publications in peer-reviewed journals and served as editor of several professional publications for many years.
He obtained a B.Sc. (Honors) in Biochemistry at the University of Alberta, where he also did his Ph.D. (1986) in Biochemistry under Dr. William Paranchych, studying F-like plasmid conjugation. His post-doctoral 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 is well known for his contributions to understanding how microbes cause disease in people and developing new tools for fighting infections, as well as the role the microbiota plays in human health and disease. Science.ca describes him as one of the world’s foremost experts on the molecular understanding of the ways bacteria infect their hosts. He also led the SARS Accelerated Vaccine Initiative (SAVI) and developed vaccines to SARS and a bovine vaccine to E. coli O157:H7. His current research interests focus on pathogenic E. coli and Salmonella pathogenicity, and the role of the microbiota in infections, asthma, and malnutrition. Dr. Finlay’s research interests are focussed on host-microbe interactions, at the molecular level. By combining cell biology with microbiology, he has been at the forefront of the field called Cellular Microbiology, making several fundamental discoveries in this area, and publishing over 460 papers (h index=110). His laboratory studies several pathogenic bacteria, including Salmonella and pathogenic E. coli, and more recently microbiota.
Dr. Finlay’s lab is based in the Michael Smith Laboratories at the University of British Columbia, and involves a multidisciplinary research program exploring how microbes contribute to both human health and disease. The lab specifically focuses on type III secreted virulence factors from Salmonella and pathogenic E. coli, how microbiota influence infectious diarrhea outcomes, and the role of the microbiota in asthma, malnutrition, and environmental enteropathy.
- Prix Galien 2014
- Carnegie Fellowship 2015
- CIFAR Senior Fellow 2014
- German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina Foreign Member 2012
- Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal 2012
- Chair d’Etat College de France 2012
- Order of BC 2007
- Flavelle Medal Royal Society of Canada 2006
- Officer, Order of Canada 2006
- Killam Prize for Health Sciences 2006
- Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Sciences 2005
- Squibb Award, Infectious Diseases Society of America 2004
- CIHR Michael Smith Prize of the Canadian Institutes for Health Research 2004
- Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology 2003
- UBC Peter Wall Distinguished Professor 2002
- Howard Hughes International Research Scholar 1991, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001
- Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada 2001
- CIHR Distinguished Investigator 2001
- EWR Steacie Prize 1998
- Fisher Prize 1991
More publications may be accessed at PubMed
- Diet and specific microbial exposure trigger features of environmental enteropathy in a novel murine model. Brown EM, Finlay BB, et al. Nat Commun. 2015 Aug 4;6:7806.
- Early infancy microbial and metabolic alterations affect risk of childhood asthma. Arrieta MC, Stiemsma LT, Dimitriu PA,; CHILD Study Investigators, Mohn WW, Turvey SE, Finlay BB, et al. Sci Transl Med. 2015 Sep 30;7(307):307ra152. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aab2271
- Common themes in microbial pathogenicity revisited. BB Finlay, S Falkow. Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews 61 (2), 136-169
- Enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC) transfers its receptor for intimate adherence into mammalian cells. B Kenny, R DeVinney, M Stein, DJ Reinscheid, EA Frey, BB Finlay. Cell 91 (4), 511-520
- Exploitation of mammalian host cell functions by bacterial pathogens. BB Finlay, P Cossart. Science 276 (5313), 718-725
- Molecular mechanisms of Escherichia coli pathogenicity. MA Croxen, BB Finlay. Nature Reviews Microbiology 8 (1), 26-38
- Manipulation of host-cell pathways by bacterial pathogens. AP Bhavsar, JA Guttman, BB Finlay. Nature 449 (7164), 827-834
Dr. Finlay has established the following companies:
- Vedanta Biosciences
- Microbiome Insights
- 1992-1999 Trends in Microbiology: Infection, Virulence, and Pathogenesis
- 1993-97 Editor, Infection and Immunity section, Canadian Journal of Microbiology
- 1994-02 Editorial Board, Infection and Immunity
- 1997-2005 Editorial Board, Molecular Microbiology
- 1997–present Editorial Board, Current Opinion in Microbiology
- 1997-2010 Editorial Board, Traffic
- 1998–present Editorial Board, Microbes and Infection
- 1999–present Editorial Board, Cellular Microbiology
- 1999–present Advisory Board, International Journal of Medical Microbiology
- 2000-2003 Editor, Infection and Immunity (20 manuscripts/month)
- 2000–present Editorial Board, Current Drug Targets - Infectious Disorders
- 2001–present Section Head (Cellular Microbiology and Pathogenesis) for Faculty 1000, an online service to organize and evaluate the life sciences literature
- 2001–present Editorial Board, Current Biology
- 2003 Section Editor (Cytology), American Society for Microbiology book, "E. coli and Salmonella"
- 2005-2008 Reviews Editor, PLoS (Public Library of Science) Pathogens
- 2005–present Editorial Advisory Panel, Future Microbiology
- 2006–present Editorial Board, Cell Host & Microbe
- 2007–present Editorial Board, PNAS
- 2009–present Associate Editor, Gut Microbes
- 2009–present Editorial Board, mBio, American Society for Microbiology
- 2009 Editor, Future Microbiology Special Focus Issue: The molecular basis of pathogenesis: proteomics and beyond.
- 2010–present Editorial Advisory Panel (inaugural), Nature Communications, on-line multidisciplinary journal, Nature Publishing Group.
- 2010–present Section Head, F1000
- February 2011 Section Editor, Current Opinion in Microbiology, Section: Host-microbe interactions: Bacteria.
- 2011–present Member, Senior Medical Expert Panel, Nature Index
- 2013–present Senior Editor, Future Microbiology
- 2013–present Associate Editor, Gut Microbes
- 2014–present Trends in Microbiology