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Bethany M. Henrick

Bethany M. Henrick, Ph.D.

Head of Discovery Research 
Evolve Biosystems Inc.
Adjunct Assistant Professor
University of Nebraska
Department of Food Science and Technology

IMGC Team: Scientific Advisory Committee


Dr. Bethany Henrick joined the IMGC Scientific Advisory Committee in 2020 and has participated in IMGC Symposia for more than five years. Dr. Henrick is the Vice President of Discovery Science at Evolve Biosystems Inc. in Davis, CA and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Food Science and Technology Department at the University of Nebraska Lincoln. She investigates the role of the gut microbiome on the development of the immune system during infancy, including the polarization of regulatory T cells which are critically important to developing immune tolerance. Dr. Henrick is also investigating the role of antibiotics on gut microbiome composition to understand the effect on growth of infants in low-to-middle-income countries, and the therapeutic effect of altering the gut microbiome to improve enteric inflammation and growth of infants suffering from severe acute malnutrition in Dhaka, Bangladesh, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She was trained as an immunologist and previously investigated mother-to-child HIV transmission through breast milk and was the first to characterize innate immune factors in breast milk that inhibit HIV transmission and reduce immunopathogenesis. She also has extensive experience investigating maternal and infant immunity as well as a decade of experience designing, optimizing, and bringing to market rapid point-of-care diagnostics focused on improving the lives of individuals globally. Her current work has culminated into novel insight showing how infants born in developed nations suffer from chronic enteric inflammation that can be significantly decreased with a B. infantis-dominated microbiome. Further, she is currently investigating the impact of a B. infantis-dominated microbiome effect on T cell development during the first 100 days of life, which should provide critical insight into immune system development, vaccine efficacy, and prevention of autoimmune and allergic diseases.  Dr. Henrick also serves as an advisor to the Rwandan Ministry of Health to improve testing strategies for emerging infectious diseases. Her bibliography is publicly available here.