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Nature Background

The Yanomami Foundation

The Yanomami Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to supporting the Yanomami people. Our diverse team of experts collaborates to raise funds and manage projects that provide Yanomami communities with the necessary tools, resources, and intercultural training to protect their way of life and preserve their Amazonian homeland. Our primary focus is to supply resources and funding to ensure the continued success and prosperity of Yanomami communities. We hold a deep respect for their culture and work closely with Yanomami leaders and community members to address their challenges.


Yanomami Foundation

Leadership Team

Hortensia Caballero-Arias, PhD
Head of Anthropology of Development Laboratory and Senior Associate Researcher, Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research (IVIC)

Dr. Caballero-Arias researches the cultural, historical and political transformations among the Venezuelan Yanomami as well as intercultural processes and indigenous rights among  Amazonian peoples. In addition to serving as President of the Yanomami Foundation, Dr. Caballero-Arias serves on the advisory council for the Wenner-Gren Foundation.
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Hortensia Caballero-Arias
Founder and Executive Director
David Good, MSc
PhD Candidate, University of Guelph

David Good is a member of the Yanomami tribe and  PhD candidate in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Guelph. His unique ancestry and scientific training provide a rare opportunity to advance understanding of Yanomami society while building global awareness of the importance of protecting these few remaining isolated indigenous societies. In 2023, David received the Explorer's Club (EC)50 award for his numerous scientific expeditions into remote areas of the Amazon rainforest to study the skin and gut microbiomes of the Yanomami people.
David Good
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Grant Rogers, BA
Director, Chief Informations Officer at Metis Capital Management LLC

Grant Rogers holds a BA in economics from Boston University. He began his career as a private banker at the Boston Safe Deposit and Trust Company and was involved with marketing equities for Julius Baer and for CIC Securities to institutional investors. He was Head of Sales for CIC's fixed income, derivative, and currency division in Paris, France. He is the founder and CEO of Metis Capital. Grant manages the Yanomami Endowment Fund investment portfolio.
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Board Director
Serena Belsby, MBA
Director, Writer, and Producer

Serena Belsby earned a BA in Economics from the University of Texas and an MBA from Texas Christian University. She wrote, directed, and produced her first feature film, The Merry Graingers. Since then, her work has been showcased at the Sundance Writers Lab and the Plume et Pellicule writers' workshop, sponsored by Dreamago in Sierre, Switzerland. What started as a script has grown into a profound personal connection to the Yanomami.
Board Director
Britt Rios-Ellis, PhD
President, California State University Stanislaus

Dr. Rios-Ellis earned an MSc in Health and Fitness Management and a PhD in Community Health from the University of Oregon in addition to a certification in Women's Studies. She also completed the Institute for Management and Leadership in Education Program at Harvard University and the HERS Program for Women’s Leadership in Higher Education.
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Scientific Advisor
Simone Renwick, PhD
Postdoctoral Researcher, University of California San Diego

Dr. Renwick completed her PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Guelph. Currently, she is the Milk & Microbes postdoctoral fellow at the Mother-Milk-Infant Center of Research Excellence at the University of California San Diego. Her research focuses on understanding the role of human milk components, such as the human milk oligosaccharides and milk microbiota, in fostering the developing infant gut microbiota. 
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Grant Rogers
Serena Belsby
Britt Rios-Ellis
Simone Renwick


Emma Allen-Vercoe, PhD
Professor and Canada Research Chair, University of Guelph

Dr. Allen-Vercoe began her career with undergraduate and graduate studies at the Central Veterinary Laboratories and the Centre for Applied and Microbiological Research, UK. After completing a postdoctoral position at the University of Calgary, she received a Fellow-to-Faculty Transition award from the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology to study the human microbiota's impact on health. Dr. Allen-Vercoe continued this research at the University of Guelph, eventually co-founding NuBiyota to develop "Microbial Ecosystem Therapeutics" for treating gut microbial dysbiosis-related disorders.
Emma Allen-Vercoe
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Luciana Campos-Paulino, PhD
Professor, Universidade Federal do ABC

Dr. Campos-Paulino earned her MSc in Biological Sciences followed by her PhD in Genetics and Molecular Biology from the Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Brazil. She next pursued postdoctoral research at New York University. Her current research as a Professor at the Federal University in São Paulo State, Brazil, focuses on microbial communities associated with the human body and their roles in health and disease, with a particular focus on bacterial and fungal communities of the skin. Additionally, she is interested in the microbiome of built environments and their impact on human health.
Luciana Campos-Paulino
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Andrew Balcof

Andrew Balcof is a storyteller who creates content intended to engage audience's deepest emotions. Wayumi, and his upcoming scripted feature, Angels of Mercy, highlight characters with stories regularly excluded from mainstream media. Whether it's documenting a man torn between his juxtaposed lineage (Wayumi) or creating a world where heroes can have atypical bodies (Angels of Mercy), the ultimate objective of Andrew's films is to take their audiences on a journey that persists even after they've left the theater.
Andrew Balcof
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Javier Carrera-Rubio, PhD
Anthropologist & Linguist

Dr. Carrera-Rubio received his PhD in Anthropology from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. Since 1990, he has worked among the Yanomami in the Upper Orinoco (Amazonas State), Venezuela, serving as an anthropology advisor to the Yanomami association, SUYAO (Shaponos Unidos Yanomami del Alto Orinoco), the Upper Orinoco Biosphere Reserve Project for the Venezuelan Ministry of Environment, and the Yanomami Health Plan for the Venezuelan Ministry of Health. 
Larry Weiss, MD
CEO and Founder, Symbiome

Dr. Weiss is an experienced microbiome executive with vast experience in the biotechnology industry. He is skilled in Research and Development (R&D), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) processes, Chemistry, Protein Chemistry, and Life Sciences. With a strong background in medical science, Dr. Weiss holds a BSc in Biochemistry from Cornell University and a Doctor of Medicine (MD) from the Stanford University School of Medicine.
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Javier Carrera-Rubio
Larry Weiss

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