News Release

Cerillo® Celebrates Innovators in Microbiome Research

Reveals Winners of the 2023 Co-Culture Champion Contest

(Charlottesville, VA) November 16, 2023 – Cerillo®, a technology company developing advanced research platforms for the study of the microbiome, proudly announces the winners of the 2023 Co-Culture Champion Contest. The competition invited researchers and scientists from around the world to demonstrate their visionary approaches to microbiome research using Cerillo's revolutionary new Co-Culture Duet System.

Cerillo's Co-Culture Duet System is a readily available tool that empowers researchers to observe and analyze individual microbial populations while simultaneously monitoring the growth of one microbial group in conjunction with others. This system features a porous barrier that physically separates microbial populations while enabling fluidic contact. This innovative setup effortlessly replicates natural microbiome conditions, facilitating the study of microorganism interactions.

A Showcase of Excellence

“These visionary researchers are advancing our understanding of microbial interactions and behaviors, with diverse projects that have the potential to impact health, the environment, and more,” says Eric Mayton, CEO of Cerillo. The following researchers will receive a Co-Culture Discovery Bundle to support their research from proof of concept to publication.

Jo-Ann Passmore Ph.D. & Brian Kullin Ph.D., and The Mucosal Immunology Group (MIG) at University of Cape Town, South Africa

The Mucosal Immunology Group’s research focuses on addressing bacterial vaginosis (BV), a persistent challenge for women's health. Their team will use the Cerillo Co-Culture System to isolate and test probiotics that could provide regionally relevant, affordable BV treatments. Their work is a significant step forward in improving women's health, particularly in Africa.

Ross Whetstone, Ph.D. Student, University of Massachusetts, Boston

Amphibians worldwide are under serious threat from diseases like chytrid fungi, endangering many species. Ross will use Cerillo's Co-Culture System to simulate natural amphibian skin conditions to study probiotics inhibiting chytrid fungi, potentially revolutionizing therapies for threatened amphibians and their conservation.

Bryan Hsu, Ph.D. and M.S, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, Virginia Tech

Dr. Hsu investigates the role of bacterial viruses (phages) in shaping the gut's chemical environment and bacterial interactions. Using Cerillo's Co-Culture System, his study will explore the potential for treatments related to gastrointestinal conditions. His research offers insights into how gut viruses influence bacterial interactions in the gut microbiota.

Oona Snoeyenbos-West, Ph.D., Research Scientist, University of Arizona (Carini Lab)

This study examines the effects of arsenic exposure on the mouse gut microbiome and its impact on host health. By leveraging Cerillo's Co-Culture System, Dr. Snoeyenbos-West aims to identify key microbial interactions and develop insights into potential shifts in microbial functions under arsenic-induced stress. This research holds promise for mitigating the health effects of arsenic exposure on the host.

Andrew Cameron, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Regina, SK Canada

Dr. Cameron’s research explores how bacterial toxins rupture neighboring cells to release active enzymes that support cross-feeding by other species, addressing ecological and systems biology questions. His team will use Cerillo's Co-Culture System to aid in species enumeration and transcriptome analysis for mixed cultures, especially interactions involving small molecules.

Andrea Chiara Masi, Ph.D. Post Doctoral Research Associate, Newcastle University, UK

Dr. Masi's research centers on understanding the growth of tiny organisms in preterm babies' stomachs and their response to components in breast milk. By employing the Cerillo’s Co-Culture System, her study offers valuable insights into the health and well-being of preterm babies, potentially improving their care and nutrition.

Evan Chrisler, B.S., Graduate Research Assistant, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Evan is studying bacterial interactions in the gastrointestinal community, focusing on Lactobacillus community members in the laboratory of Dr. Vanessa Leone. His primary goal is to understand how gut communities form in relation to each other and in response to daily body rhythms. He will use Cerillo’s Co-Culture System to research how these interactions are influenced by factors like circadian rhythms, offering guidance on when and how to use probiotics for better gut health.

Jasira Patel, Ph.D. Student, De Montfort University, UK

Jasira’s research focuses on NTHi and Corynebacterium spp in the upper respiratory tract. She will use Cerillo’s Co-Culture System to understand how these bacteria interact, with a focus on their growth, metabolic changes, and biofilm formation. Her study will explore the potential of Corynebacterium spp as a treatment for NTHi infections.

David Liu, Student Researcher, Western University, Ontario, Canada

David is investigating the formation of struvite kidney stones and the role of a new enzyme, arginine deiminase. He will use Cerillo’s Co-Culture system to quantify crystallization, offering a new perspective on the factors contributing to these stones.



Join us in celebrating these remarkable Co-Culture Champions, whose dedication and innovative research are advancing our understanding of microbial interactions and their impact on diverse fields. Stay tuned for exclusive updates on these champions and insights they will gain using Cerillo's Co-Culture Duet System. For a detailed profile of each winner’s study please visit

About Cerillo

Cerillo is a technology company at the forefront of microbiome research and innovation with a mission to develop cutting-edge solutions that enable in-depth exploration and analysis of the microbiome.

The company’s flagship offering is a wireless device platform, which seamlessly connects microplate readers to advanced analytic software. This integration allows for real-time visualization of growth curves, providing researchers with valuable insights into the dynamics of microbial populations. By capturing and analyzing growth data as it happens, scientists can make informed decisions, accelerate research, and optimize experimental outcomes.

Cerillo’s mission is to make microbiome engineering more accessible and available to a wider range of researchers than ever before. In order to achieve this, the company is breaking down barriers to entry such as flexibility, portability, scalability, and the excessive cost of equipment. For more information visit our website


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