Ryan Honaker, Ph.D.
Director of microbiology
Science from sales and the microbiome: leveraging the direct-to-consumer model to obtain actionable data – Honaker describes how a direct-to-consumer, individualized, fresh pet food diet subscription service permitted cohort refinement and recruitment for scientific studies with unique, inexpensive and robust data sets. Specific data from dog and cat microbiomes were obtained in one such investigation, which illustrates the potential of this novel approach. Preliminary data from the investigation reveal interesting differences in naive dog populations and in those that transitioned to fresh pet food products, providing the foundation for further scientific study in novel areas and for the expansion of internal scientific expertise.
Honaker is an expert in microbiome manipulation, infection therapeutics and microbial community profiling. After earning a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado-Denver, he became a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Stanford University, where he studied the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, the only known bacterium to cause cancer, receiving the American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellowship. He later worked at a biotech startup for several years, where he led a team developing novel antibiotics as well as microbiome profiling and engineering products. Honaker will be working on analyzing the microbiomes of dogs and cats through DNA sequencing techniques. As he grows his research, NomNomNow will utilize his learnings to optimize diet and processes, thereby further enhancing the lives of our pets.