Natalie Prystajecky is the program head for the Environmental Microbiology program at the BCCDC Public Health Laboratory. She is also a clinical associate professor in the Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine at UBC.
Dr. Prystajecky’s research interests are public health, environmental microbiology, drinking water, food quality, genomics and molecular diagnostics. Her work is at the intersection of environmental exposures (food and water) and clinical outcomes. She uses emerging technologies to improve routine surveillance and outbreak investigations for foodborne and waterborne pathogens.
Her current research interests include development of new water-quality tests using metagenomics, targeted resequencing of wetland sediments to study the emergence of avian influenza strains and whole-genome sequencing of giardia and salmonella. She is keen to promote the translation of research methods to routine testing in diagnostic and reference laboratories.
Dr. Prystajecky received her PhD in 2010 and a certificate in watershed management in 2008, both from UBC. She holds a BSc in Cellular, Molecular and Microbiology (CMMB) and a BSc in Environmental Science – Biology Focus, both from the University of Calgary, in 2003. She holds a Canadian College of Microbiologist Specialist Microbiology designation in Environmental Microbiology SCCM (ENV). She is the program head for the Environmental Microbiology program at the BCCDC Public Health Laboratory.
Her awards include an Institute of Infection and Immunity (CIHR-III) Doctoral Research Award from the Canadian Foundation for Infectious Disease (CFID)/Canadian Institute for Health Research (2006-2009), a Senior Trainee Top-Up Award from the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR) (2006-2008) and a UBC PhD Tuition Award from UBC (2005-2009).