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Discover Our World 

​Our mission is to revolutionize microbiome-based therapy through the power of GEMM™. 

Melius is latin for “better”, therefore our name, Melius MicroBiomics translates to “better bacteria” which encompasses what we do here at MMB. We take a tailored and personalized approach to medicine by using Genetically Modified Microbial Medicines (GEMM™). Our GEMMs can be used for an array of hosts with inflammatory diseases and metabolic disorders, including GEMMs for humans, horses, pigs, and cats/dogs. Furthermore, with our genetic modification technology, we can insert our genetic platforms into any specific microbe, which can be personalized to the individual’s microbiome.

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Our Story

An eager lead principal investigator at the University of British Columbia, Professor Deanna L. Gibson, brought her vision to reality by developing 2 patents for a microbiome-based therapy that aims to help treat patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Rob Emlyn, current CEO of Innovate Phytotechnologies and Innovate Phytoceuticals wanted to bring these therapies to. the market, creating several applications for this intricate technology. Mr. Emlyn, current CEO, and Dr. Gibson, Chief Scientific Officer (CSO), co-founded Melius MicroBiomics (MMB) together in January 2023.

We strive to enhance medicine by offering personalized, cutting edge therapies that align with the patient’s unique microbiome. Our goal is to lead the way in microbiome-based medicine, offering better health outcomes and improving the quality of life for both humans and animals affected by these conditions.

melius scientists

At Melius MicroBiomics, our mission is to revolutionize microbiome-based therapy through the power of GEMM™. We strive to enhance medicine by offering personalized, cutting edge therapies that align with the patient’s unique microbiome. Our goal is to lead the way in microbiome-based medicine, offering better health outcomes and improving the quality of life for both humans and animals affected by these conditions.

Our Mission

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Management Team

Robert Emlyn, AScT

Chief Executive Officer

Robert Emlyn is a seasoned management professional with over 25 years of experience in business development, civil engineering projects and commercial property developments. Based in Vancouver, Canada, Robert is the Co-Founder and CEO of Melius Microbiomics. His career is marked by a consistent track record of business success. In 2009, he founded Antares Project Services, a company that specializes in hydroelectric engineering projects and commercial developments. In 2014, Robert sold Antares, staying on as President for three years to allow for a smooth management transition and setting Antares up to continue to be a successful company to this day. In 2018, Robert founded Innovate Phytotechnologies Inc, further demonstrating his exceptional skill in identifying potential opportunities by building a state-of-the-art lab facility that specializes in contract research and intellectual property development and analytical services.

 

 

Dr. Deanna L. Gibson, Ph.D.

Chief Scientific Officer & Professor at UBCO

Dr. Deanna L. Gibson is a distinguished Inventor and Professor in the Department of Biology at the Faculty of Science, The University of British Columbia, Okanagan. In addition to her primary role, she serves as an Associate Member of the Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medicine at UBC. Her academic and research contributions are well-documented on platforms such as Google Scholar and through her lab's website, the Gibson Lab. Dr. Gibson's research excellence is underscored by her securing $5 million in grant funding, a testament to the impact and relevance of her work. She is recognized as an NSERC Research Scholar and a UBC Killam Research Scholar, highlighting her significant contributions to the field of science and research. In 2018, she was honored as the Young Investigator by the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology. Dr. Gibson also holds a leadership position as the Co-Chair for the Crohn’s and Colitis Canada Scientific and Medical Advisory Council, where she plays a crucial role in guiding scientific and medical strategies. Her extensive portfolio and achievements reflect her dedication and expertise in her field.

Celinka Zhou, M.Sc.

Chief Investment Officer (Asia Pacific)

Celinka Zhou's professional journey is indeed remarkable and diverse. With a solid foundation in hospitality management from prestigious institutions like Washington University and Hong Kong Polytechnic University, she has honed her skills in customer service, operations, and leadership. Her additional education in Internet Finance and Private Equity Investment and Finance from esteemed universities in China speaks to her commitment to staying abreast of industry trends and expanding her expertise beyond traditional boundaries. Her entrepreneurial drive shines through in the establishment of Sunnyway Capital Canada Corp, where she leverages her international background and network to facilitate connections between Asian investors and North American startups. This venture not only showcases her business acumen but also her dedication to fostering cross-border collaborations and supporting the growth of start-ups in Canada. Zhou's active participation in advisory boards and professional associations underscores her commitment to giving back to her community. By sharing her insights and expertise, she not only contributes to shaping the business landscape but also mentors the next generation of leaders, ensuring a legacy of excellence and innovation. In summary, Celinka Zhou's diverse background, international education, and entrepreneurial spirit position her as a formidable figure in the business world, bridging continents and creating opportunities for growth and collaboration on a global scale.

 

Dr. Emeran Mayer, MD

Chief Medical Officer

Emeran Mayer, a Distinguished Research Professor in Medicine, Physiology, and Psychiatry at UCLA, has made remarkable strides in medical and neuroscience research. He serves as the Director of the Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience and is the Founding Director of the Goodman Luskin Microbiome Center at the same institution. His affiliation with UCLA's Division of Digestive Diseases underscores his extensive expertise in this area. Renowned for his pioneering work in gut-brain interaction research since 1980, Mayer's academic contributions are substantial, including authoring over 421 scientific articles, along with 100 chapters and reviews. His profound insights into the gut-brain axis are also captured in his acclaimed books, "The Mind-Gut Connection" (2016) and “The Gut Immune Connection” (2021), which have significantly advanced understanding in this complex field.

 

Meet the Team

Lead Scientific Team

Dr. Artem Godovannyi, Ph.D.

Manager of GEMM Drug Development

Dr. Artem Godovannyi is recognized for his significant contributions to the field of technology and innovation, notably as the co-inventor of MMB assets. His career is marked by the development of four distinct technologies, two of which have successfully transitioned to production scale. Additionally, Dr. Godovannyi's was a postdoctoral fellow in the Gibson Lab in 2016. His work in both the practical and academic realms demonstrates a strong combination of technical proficiency and scientific insight. With a deep understanding of the GEMM™ technology from early development into clinical stages, Dr. Godovannyi has played a critical role in our success at Melius MicroBiomics.

Dr. Malavika Adur, Ph.D.

Director of Veterinary Health Products

Dr. Malavika Adur is a highly skilled Veterinarian and Animal Scientist, bringing over 10 years of dedicated research experience in the field of cellular and molecular biology. With her extensive background as a PhD scientist, she is well-equipped to advance the understanding and application of complex biological processes. Dr. Adur plays a key role in the development of projects involving genetically engineered microbial medicines (GEMM™). Her work in this area is expected to bridge the gap between cutting-edge genetic research and real-world veterinary medicine, demonstrating her commitment to enhancing animal health and welfare through scientific innovation.

Dr. Jacqueline Barnett, Ph.D.

Head of Translational Sciences

Dr. Jacqueline Barnett is a distinguished academic making significant strides in the field of gut microbiome research. Her impressive achievements include being honored with the NSERC Postgraduate scholarship doctoral award, an instructor at Okanagan College. Barnett's Ph.D. research is at the forefront of scientific inquiry, focusing on the intricate relationship between glyphosate on the gut-brain-axis.

Leah D’Aloisio, MSc

Science Communications Specialist

Leah D’Aloisio, currently a MSc candidate at the University of British Columbia Okanagan (UBCO), where her research is at the forefront of human microbiomics. Her work critically examines the complex interactions between industrialization and the gut microbiome in relation to disease. At Melius MicroBiomics, D’Aloisio excels in translating complex scientific data into coherent and impact communications for both the general public and key stakeholders. Her involvement extends to the strategic development and commercialization of GEMM™ products, ensuring their scientific integrity and market viability.

Svetlana Simtchouk, MSc

Research and Development Technician

Svetlana is a dedicated professional in the biomedical field, holding a BSc in Physician-Biophysicist and an MSc in Biophysics from Moscow State Medical University. Her journey includes early experiences at Moscow University, followed by roles at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, UK, and over 13 years as a Researcher at the University of British Columbia Okanagan. Svetlana has contributed to four biomedical research laboratories, demonstrating adaptability and a commitment to learning. Notably, she recently achieved success in engineering gene knock-out mammalian cells using CRISPR-Cas9 technology. With a diverse and international background, Svetlana brings a practical and collaborative approach to her work in the biomedical field.

Innovate Phytoceuticals - Lead Scientific Team

Dr. Mehrbod Estaki, Ph.D.

Director of Scientific Programs 

(Melius Microbiomics)

 

Chief Scientific Officer

(Innovate Phytoceuticals)

Dr. Mehrbod Estaki, a postdoctoral fellow at the Knight Lab, University of California San Diego. With a background in Kinesiology and a personal journey overcoming Ulcerative Colitis, Dr. Estaki's work focuses on unraveling the mysteries of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and the microbiome. With expertise in faecal transplant methods, community ecology, and bioinformatics, his contributions have led to groundbreaking insights. With over 35 published articles and a passion for pushing the boundaries of scientific knowledge, Dr. Estaki is shaping the future of gut health research.

Dr. Jacek Usakiewicz, Ph.D.

Director of Science & Research

(Innovate Phytoceuticals)

Dr. Jacek Usakiewicz has over 20 years of industrial experience in pharmaceutical and biotechnology R&D. He is an accomplished leader and research manager in drug design, assay development, protein chemistry. The last few years of his career have been spent developing numerous mass spectrometry-based methods and applications. Dr. Usakiewicz holds a M.Sc. and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from University of Wroclaw, Poland. His Ph.D. thesis “Immunomodulatory activity of tuftsin-like sequences of viral coat proteins” takes a multidisciplinary (protein chemistry, organic synthesis, immunology and virology) approach to determining viral defense mechanisms employed against a host. He also worked in developing diagnostics for prion related diseases. He conducted postdoctoral research at the Biotechnology Research Institute at the National Research Council of Canada, Montreal. Prior to joining IPI, Dr. Usakiewicz worked for several Canadian and US companies including MDS Protana, Perkin Elmer and Neurocrine Bioscience. He is an author of over 40 peer-review publications and 14 international patent applications.

 

Dr. Lukman Sarker, Ph.D.

Laboratory Manager

(Innovate Phytoceuticals)

Dr. Lukman Sarker is a molecular biologist with expertise in analytical chemistry. He started his career as a microbiologist in ICDDRB on the Bill and Melinda Gates vaccine development project prior to pursuing his doctorate. He also studied hepatitis B virus immunizations among university students and the association of viral agents in diarrheal diseases. At UBC Okanagan, Dr. Sarker’s Ph.D. focused on plant secondary metabolites, and more specifically, how they regulate essential oil quality. He has been an integral part of UBC Okanagan’s research department, running multiple investigational studies. With his extensive experience generating genomic data, Dr. Sarker can provide insight into numerous applications surrounding plant and life sciences.

Financial Advisors

Sai W. Chu, CPA, CA.CF, CMA

Financial Advisor

Sai W. Chu is an esteemed Audit Committee Financial Expert for SEC purposes, renowned for his over two decades of leadership on the Boards of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX). As a seasoned financier and former CFO at EarthDaily Analytics and Seaspan Corporation, Chu played a crucial role in Seaspan's growth from a $500 million venture to a NYSE-listed entity with an enterprise value of over $7 billion. His twelve-year tenure at Seaspan was marked by the company's rise as the world's largest container ship lessor, during which he spearheaded the raising of over $10 billion in capital for expansion. Prior to this, Chu served as Corporate Controller at TSX-listed Datawest Solutions Inc., now a part of Fiserv, Inc. His financial acumen is further validated by his qualifications as a Certified Management Accountant (1990) and a Chartered Accountant (1992), with early career foundations at KPMG's Vancouver office. Chu's vast experience and expertise in financial leadership and corporate development have made him a respected figure in the financial sector.

Nicholas E. Sim

Financial Advisor

Nicholas E. Sim brings over two decades of rich experience in investment banking, private banking, and investment management. He has held senior roles at prestigious firms such as Merrill Lynch Asia Pacific, Standard Chartered Bank, and Anbang Financial Group. Sim's exceptional contributions to the banking and finance sector, as well as health technology innovation, have earned him national-level recognition and awards. As the Co-Founder and CEO of Fiduciary Securities (HK) Limited, he has been instrumental in creating a comprehensive financial platform. His expertise is further solidified by various accreditations and licenses, including the MAS/SGX Dealer’s Representative and CMFAS Modules 1, 6, 7-9a. Sim has played a pivotal role in facilitating the global market access of Chinese enterprises through strategic collaborations in the UAE. Additionally, as a Partner and Investment Committee member of the Sinolib Holding Group, he demonstrates a strong strategic vision and impactful leadership capabilities, further highlighting his influence and proficiency in the financial sector.

Joanna Zheng, CPA

Comptroller

Joanna Zheng brings 10 years of expertise in Public Practice, Audits, Financial Reporting, Controllership, and FP&A. Her experience includes serving as a Financial Controller for 13 companies, managing an $80 million multi-year clinical system transformation budget, and implementing accounting systems and internal controls for multiple dental clinics and retail shops. Zheng’s expertise in IFRS, US GAAP, and ASPE, along with her meticulous approach, ensures accurate financial reporting and effective financial management.

Bob Hancock, Ph.D., OC, OBC, FRSC
Bruce Vallance, Ph.D.
Maitreyi Raman, MD, M.Sc., FRCPC
Sanjoy Ghosh, Ph.D., B.Pharm.
Keith Sharkey, Ph.D., CAGF, FCAHS
Premysl Bercik, MD, Ph.D.
Douglas Morck, Ph.D., DVM
Dale A. Gibson, DVM

Scientific & Medical Advisory Board

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