Holly Ganz, Ph.D.


Chief Science Officer



Holly Ganz and Mark Franklin will speak on using postbiotic models to highlight cat versus dog responses on Tuesday, April 30, at 3:25-3:45 p.m. during the “Ingredients/nutrition: Alternative pet food proteins, the microbiome” concurrent sessions. Register now

Learn more about Holly Ganz’s presentation below:

What is the single, most important concept you hope attendees will learn from your presentation?

The key concept that I hope to convey is that well-designed studies of pets living in homes can help companies determine the appropriate supplement or active ingredient dose and strengthen their product claims.

A growing trend in pet food is the inclusion of high value ingredients like prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics to better support gut health. We want to help pet food companies better understand the roles played by these ingredients in supporting microbiome function in order to enable this trend to better support stronger animal health claims.

At AnimalBiome, we are working to help all members of the pet care community including veterinarians and pet food and supplement companies, understand the role of the microbiome in pet health.

What are potential next developments in this specific field?

Consumers are looking for higher quality products for their pets and are becoming more educated about gut health and the many roles it plays in supporting health and wellness. I expect that as this trend continues, consumers will become more discriminating in their selection of pet care products that are backed by research supporting these claims.

Where do you hope future development or research takes it, or how you plan to progress it?

We are advancing our understanding of gut health in cats and dogs, investigating both the benefits of available ingredients as well as the unintended consequences of the overuse of antibiotics on beneficial gut bacteria. At the same time, we are working to create cat-specific and dog-specific products to better support their health.

Presentation Description:

Species-specific evaluation: Using postbiotic models to highlight cat versus dog responses —  Ganz and Mark Franklin, Ph.D., global additives technical lead, pet & lifestyle for Cargill, demonstrate the need for species-specific understanding between cats and dogs using postbiotic application responses on gut health, immune outcomes, palatability and atopic dermatitis-associated symptoms. Inferences from other species, particularly dogs, are used to attribute effects of ingredients on cats, even though distinct physiological and metabolic differences exist. Additionally, the use of controlled trials versus in-home use tests allows for differing observations based on specific environmental conditions associated with each. To address these differences, Franklin and Ganz performed two studies evaluating cat responses to postbiotic inclusions in the two different settings.


Holly Ganz, Ph.D., is chief science officer and co-founder of AnimalBiome. She received her doctorate from UC-Davis and was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Fribourg and UC-Berkeley. Subsequently, Ganz served as a research scientist at the UC-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and the UC-Davis Genome Center. In 2016, she started AnimalBiome to help translate microbiome research into new solutions for pets. Ganz has assessed tens of thousands of pet microbiomes, and her team has worked with industry partners to conduct studies to provide insights into how different foods affect the gut microbiome of cats and dogs.