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Amanda Naaum

Lead Molecular Biologist at TRU-ID
TRU-ID
Amanda Naaum | biologiste moléculaire en chef chez TRU-ID
Amanda Naaum | biologiste moléculaire en chef chez TRU-ID
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Amanda Naaum is the lead molecular biologist at TRU-ID.

About me

I was born/grew up in: Windsor, Ontario

I now live in: Guelph, Ontario

I completed my training/education at: University of Guelph (undergraduate and PhD)

What I do at work

TRU-ID uses biotechnology to verify the authenticity of food and natural health products. I work as part of a team developing quick and simple DNA testing that can be done on-site. Right now, my team is testing a portable, hand-held device that will let more people conduct DNA tests in more places. My job requires me to keep up-to-date on new technologies and figure out how to make existing tests better, faster and cheaper.

My training in molecular biology is critical for understanding the tools we use. However, there’s also a creative side to my job: I get to look at applying the tools we develop in new ways and to address new problems.

My career path is

When I finished my undergraduate degree, I didn't plan on going to graduate school. But I gave it a try and ended up finishing a PhD. My favourite part of my PhD research was solving real-world problems. So a solution-oriented business was the perfect choice for me!

My career path was not carefully planned. It was the result of making the most of the opportunities that came along and not being afraid to say yes when I wanted something. It was also important for me to be able to say no when things were not working out, like when I switched majors. I hope to continue my career with this philosophy in mind.

I am motivated by

Working at a small company means I get to be involved in more than just lab work. I enjoy interacting directly with users to find out how my company can make its technology work better for them. This lets me really see my work in action. Being a part of the problem-solving process, and seeing the solution evolve from conception to reality is very rewarding.

How I affect people’s lives

Species authenticity in food is important for economic, health and conservation reasons. Knowing exactly what you're eating lets you make accurate choices about our diet.

Outside of work I

I volunteer my time to speak to students about my research and the impacts of the work being done in food authenticity testing. I’m also passionate about science communication. I love to travel, and I scuba dive as often as I can.

My advice to others

Try to get some volunteer work in a lab as soon as you can. This is advice I wish I’d had before I started. It is so difficult to tell what working in a lab is really like until you get a chance to do it.

When I was a student, I enjoyed:
  • Foreign Languages
  • Math
  • Physical Education/Health
  • Science
  • Music
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
  • Enjoyed doing things on my own
  • Always wanted to be outside
  • Played on a sports team
  • Enjoyed working with my hands
  • Was motivated by success
  • Wanted to be in charge
  • Liked reading
  • Played video games
  • Never wanted to be in the classroom
  • Felt great satisfaction in getting good grades
  • Wasn't sure what I wanted to do

Explore Career Profiles

  • Yetong Dong headshot wearing lab coat

    Yetong Dong

    Research Assistant/Graduate Student

    I am studying to become a scientific researcher.
  • Andrea Goldson-Barnaby headshot

    Andrea Goldson-Barnaby

    Head of the Food division

    I teach and do research on the topics of Food Chemistry and Food Processing.
  • Jo-Anne McArthur photographing hog in pen.

    Jo-Anne McArthur (she/her)

    Photojournalist, Founder

    I operate a non-profit media organization that shows the lives of animals in pictures.
  • Adrienne Ethier headshot

    Adrienne Ethier

    Environmental Risk Assessment Specialist

    I am responsible for evaluating potential exposure risks to people and the environment near nuclear facilities and mines.
  • Alyssa Smith headshot

    Alyssa Smith

    PhD Candidate in Cognitive Science

    I am researching how people’s attention is affected by factors in everyday life such as taking medications.
  • Karen Fleming at work, wearing mask and virtual reality goggles.

    Karen Fleming (she/her)

    Simulation Educator

    I help create education and training experiences that contribute to safer environments for patients.
  • Dr. Marcia Anderson headshot

    Marcia Anderson (she/her)

    Physician and Vice-Dean Indigenous Health, Social Justice and Anti-Racism

    I am a medical doctor and I work to help create culturally safe healthcare that is free of racism.
  • Luke Humphries working with biological sample in his lab.

    Luke Humphries

    Director, Process Development

    I lead teams of scientists to discover and develop the best ways of making drug molecules for clinical trials.
  • Sydney Robinson headshot taken outside with green leaves in background

    Sydney Robinson

    Entrepreneur

    I am an entrepreneur who used my engineering background to design a device that helps amputees do daily tasks in a more painless manner.
  • Allison Guitor in her lab at McMaster University.

    Allison Guitor

    PhD student (antibiotic resistance)

    I study antibiotic resistance, which is what makes bacteria able to live in the presence of antibiotics.
  • Dr. Harpreet Kochhar at standup computer station in his office.

    Dr. Harpreet Kochhar

    President

    I am the head of the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).
  • Isabel Hilgendag in the fileld collecting samples in the Arctic

    Isabel Hilgendag

    MSc Student (Biology)

    I look for heavy metals, such as mercury, in Arctic marine animals, to ensure they are safe to eat.
  • Manpreet Kaur in her lab

    Manpreet Kaur (She/Her)

    Postdoctoral Fellow

    I work on research projects to discover drugs to treat infectious diseases.
  • Ryan Mitchell headshot

    Ryan Mitchell

    Hatchery Supervisor

    My job is to supervise the daily workflow at our salmon hatchery.
  • Daryl Lawes

    Daryl Lawes

    Environment Manager

    I am responsible for all aspects of environmental protection, performance, and regulatory compliance for Seaspan Shipyards.
  • Portrait de Corie Houldsworth

    Corie Houldsworth

    Inspector

    I perform inspections of worksites where radiation is used, stored or transported.
  • Terra MacDonald at aquaculture site holding farmed salmon.

    Terra MacDonald (she/her)

    Veterinarian and Fish Health Manager

    As the veterinarian for Mowi Canada West, I care for the salmon at all life stages, from egg to harvest.
  • Isha Berry Headshot

    Isha Berry

    Epidemiologist

    I look for patterns in disease outbreaks and health outcomes in populations across the world.
  • Clair Poulin hiking near wetland area

    Claire Poulin

    Zebrafish Researcher/Pre-Med Student

    I am researching how Zebrafish respond to lower oxygen levels in their environment.
  • Jasmin Chahal headshot

    Jasmin Chahal

    Assistant Professor

    I teach in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology at McGill University.