Justin Jia

Justin received his B.Sc in Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences in 2017 from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. He then completed his Ph.D. in the SFU-UBC Joint Bioinformatics Graduate Program at Simon Fraser University with Dr. Fiona Brinkman in 2023. During his Ph.D, he used a variety of genomics and metagenomics methods to understand antimicrobial resistance emergence and spread within a One Health context, as well as how to best detect genes associated with antimicrobial resistance from environmental data. He also explored the skin microbiome of aquatic and amphibious animals to identify biomarkers of contaminant exposure.

Currently, he is a postdoctoral fellow supervised by Dr. Fiona Brinkman here in the department. His work focuses on microbial genomic epidemiology and the environmental surveillance of emerging pathogens. A major component of his current research includes the development or expansion of new analyses for the tool ‘Duotang’, a notebook built to explore Canadian SARS-CoV-2 genomic and epidemiological data with the aim of investigating viral evolution and spread, as part of the national CoVaRR-Net CAMEO initiative that he co-coordinates. He aims to apply his research to expand this tool to other pathogens of concern, for example flu, while also aiding some additional microbiome research in the group.