Michael Kuzyk

Michael Kuzyk
President & Co-Founder of Category 12 Brewing Company
UVic BSc '94, PhD '00

Category 12’s head brewer and founder, Michael Kuzyk, has been brewing beer for over 20 years and received his Doctorate in Biochemistry from the University of Victoria in 2000.

Category 12 Brewing was a long time in the making as Kuzyk started brewing his own beer in the mid-1990s, during graduate studies. In the early days of Kuzyk's homebrewing, he tended to only brew hop-forward beers which didn't interest his partner at all... until he made a mutated version of a Belgian Tripel (which exists to this day as a seasonal release called Transmutation). With his partner's full support, Kuzyk was ready to turn his back on a successful scientific career and open a brewery. A few years later, his passion for brewing finally culminated in the opening of Category 12 in December 2014.

Prior to founding Category 12, Kuzyk was a Senior Product Manager at GenoLogics, a scientific software company, where he led the development of Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS) software, with a strong focus on user experience and transitioning the product to Cloud infrastructure to focus on the rapidly expanding market of clinical next generation DNA sequencing.

Previously, as a Research Assistant Professor with the University of Victoria’s Proteomics Centre, Kuzyk directed a team of technicians and post–doctoral scientists to help establish the UVic Genome BC Proteomics Centre as a world leader in the development of sensitive clinical protein assays. He planned & executed both internal and large scale collaborative research projects with an emphasis on delivery of quality results on time and on budget.

Kuzyk also worked at Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre within the BC Cancer Research Centre where he led the design, construction and establishment of two proteomics mass spectrometry research facilities. He also worked as a Field Applications Scientist supporting customers in Western Canada for a mass spectrometry company situated in the San Francisco Bay area.

In all his roles Kuzyk has had the opportunity to work in an externally facing capacity interacting with strategic customers and collaborators. He has frequently presented his work to international audiences at scientific conferences. He also had the opportunity to patent the outcome of his PhD thesis research project, a commercial recombinant vaccine (for which he was awarded the Governor General's Gold Medal).

Over his entire career, Kuzyk has demonstrated the willingness and ability to synthesize enormous amounts of complex, disparate information and viewpoints. He can hone in on the details while maintaining a sense of the larger picture. He looks forward to applying his experiences and perspectives to UVic’s Scientific Advisory Board.