timothy wakiyama

Timothy is a Japan-licensed veterinarian specializing in public health, as well as a biotech enthusiast who teaches family and friends how to biohack. He is currently a member of MN diyBio, BioClub (Tokyo), while being a graduate student/research assistant in Microbial Engineering at the University of Minnesota Kaznessis Lab. 

He was born and raised in Japan and worked as a clinical research associate (CRA) in the Japanese pharmaceutical industry for 4 years prior to enrolling at the University of Minnesota in 2016. As a CRA, he worked on human clinical trials for cancer immunotherapy medication (bladder cancer) and monoclonal antibody medication targeting rheumatoid arthritis.

As a graduate student in Microbial Engineering, he is developing artificial probiotics that inhibit the growth of foodborne pathogens such as Campylobacter. He is using Lactococcus lactis as a chassis to produce antimicrobial peptides, intending to feed the probiotic to poultry in order to reduce the pathogen load, which will hopefully make poultry consumption safer (Campylobacter is the no. 1 cause of food poisoning in the EU and no. 2 in the US). 

He is also passionate about increasing public awareness about biohacking. Timothy is putting together, for sharing with community biolabs and biohackers in Minnesota and Japan, a beginner biohacker-friendly CRISPR experiment kit, where enthusiasts get to use CRISPR to initiate the expression of GFP in yeast.

Timothy is also interested in creative and interdisciplinary approaches to problem solving that combines diverse fields such as veterinary medicine, electronics, electrical engineering, robotics, mathematical simulations, synthetic biology and data science.

In his spare time, he kayaks, jogs, and gives lessons on genetic engineering and molecular biology to fellow bioenthusiasts in Japan over skype.