Member Directory

  • Xiaojing Gao

    Dr. Xiaojing Gao is an Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering from Stanford University. He received a B.S. in Biology from Peking University and a Ph.D. in Biology from Stanford University. He received his postdoctoral training from Biology and Biological Engineering at Caltech. His lab tackles fundamental engineering challenges across different levels of complexity, such as (1) protein components that minimize their crosstalk with human cells and immunogenicity, (2) biomolecular circuits that function robustly in different cells and are easy to deliver, (3) multicellular consortia that communicate through scalable channels, and (4) therapeutic modules that interface with physiological inputs/outputs. Their engineering targets include biomolecules, molecular circuits, viruses, and cells, and their approach combines quantitative experimental analysis with computational simulation. The molecular tools they build will be applied to diverse fields such as immunology, neurobiology, and cancer therapy.

  • David Karig

  • Yinjie Tang

    Dr. Yinjie Tang did his BS/MS in chemical engineering at Tianjin University. He obtained his PhD at University of Washington and his research was on kinetic modeling of marine sediment remediation. He did his postdoc at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He joined Washington University In 2008 and was promoted to full professor in 2018. His research focuses on algal engineering, metabolic flux analysis, and process modeling.

  • Taylor Ware

    Taylor Ware is an Assistant Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Texas at Dallas. Prior to joining UT Dallas in August 2015, he graduated summa cum laude with his B.S. from the Georgia Institute of Technology (2009) and with his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Dallas (2013) in Materials Science and Engineering. Taylor completed postdoctoral training (2013-2015) at the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate at the Air Force Research Laboratory. His research interests include biomaterials, liquid crystal materials, living materials, flexible and stretchable electronics, and the interfacing of these technologies. Dr. Ware was a recipient of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (2011), the Air Force Young Investigator Award (2017), and the NSF CAREER award (2018). He is also a member of several professional societies, co-inventor of three awarded patents, and author or co-author of more than 50 scientific publications.

  • R. Alta Charo

    R. Alta Charo (Harvard, BA biology 1979; Columbia, JD law 1982) is a 2019-2020 Berggruen Fellow at CASBS, and the Warren P. Knowles Professor of Law and Bioethics at the University of Wisconsin, writing on medical ethics and biotechnology regulatory policy. In government, she served as a legal analyst for the former congressional Office of Technology Assessment, policy analyst for the US Agency for International Development and senior policy advisor in the FDA’s Office of the Commissioner. She was a member of the National Bioethics Advisory Commission under President Clinton, and the transition team for President Obama. Charo is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, and co-chaired its committee on Guidelines for Embryonic Stem Cell Research and its 2017 committee on Human Genome Editing: Science, Ethics and Governance. At present, she is a member of the World Health Organization’s committee on global governance of genome editing, of the Nuclear Threat Initiative’s Biosecurity Innovation and Risk Reduction project, and of the steering committee of the International Society for Stem Cell Research’s effort to revise and expand its guidelines for ethical research, including research on chimeras and organoids.

  • Emiley Eloe-Fadrosh

    Dr. Eloe-Fadrosh joined the JGI in 2014 to pursue her research interests in microbial ecology and metagenomics. Her current research focuses on leveraging thousands of metagenomic datasets from host-associated and environmental samples to identify novel microbial life and viral diversity. Prior to joining the JGI, she was a Bioinformatics Program Fellow at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation as part of the Marine Microbiology Initiative. She conducted her postdoctoral training in human microbiome research at the Institute for Genome Sciences at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. She stepped into the Metagenome Program lead position in 2017. She additionally leads the National Microbiome Data Collaborative, a multi-lab partnership that support microbiome data exploration through a sustainable data discovery platform that promotes open science across a broad and diverse community of researchers, funders, publishers, and scientific societies.

  • Ramon Gonzalez

    Dr. Ramon Gonzalez is a Professor and Florida World Class Scholar in the Department of Chemical & Biomedical Engineering at the University of South Florida (USF) where he leads the laboratory for Metabolic Engineering and Biomanufacturing. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology. Before joining USF, Dr. Gonzalez was a Professor in the Departments of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering and Bioengineering at Rice University, the Founding Director of Rice’s Advanced Biomanufacturing Initiative, and from 2012 to 2015 served as Program Director with the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) of the U.S. Department of Energy. Dr. Gonzalez’s work has been published in prestigious scientific journals, including Nature, Nature Biotechnology, Nature Chemical Biology, PNAS, and Science. He is the lead inventor in 25 patents and patent applications, co-founded several biotechnology start-ups, and has given more than 100 invited talks. He is also a member of the editorial boards of Science, Biotechnology Journal, and Metabolic Engineering Communications. Dr. Gonzalez has received numerous recognitions, including elected Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, AIChE Division 15c Plenary Lecture, ASM Distinguished Lecturer, SDA/NBB Glycerine Innovation Research Award, and NSF CAREER Award. He obtained a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Chile, an M.S. in Biochemical Engineering from the Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaíso (Chile), and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the Central University of Las Villas (Cuba).

  • Chuck Smallwood

    Chuck Smallwood has broad expertise investigating and engineering cellular biochemical mechanisms in diverse biosystems including bacteria, cyanobacteria, fungi, plants, and microalgae. Most cellular membrane transport mechanisms are multicomponent protein assemblies that are complex in their expression, signaling, and energy transduction. In these contexts, our group utilizes various biochemical and genetic techniques to investigate cellular systems for improved drug (i.e. antibiotic) discovery, production of biomaterials, and biotechnology development.

  • Lauren Junker

    Dr. Lauren Junker is an innovation scout for Industrial Biotechnology Research at BASF. She has been a leader in the Industrial Biotechnology research group at BASF for the past 7 years where her teams research focused on microbiome research for personal care, microbial control solutions for personal care and animal nutrition and fermentation process optimization.
    Interested in technologies and partners to accelerate Bioscience research at BASF in the areas of industrial biotechnology including industrial enzyme and biocatalyst engineering, strain engineering for bio-based chemical production, fermentation process optimization and microbiome research.

    Previous roles include serving as a microbiologist and clinical research scientist within Johnson & Johnson’s Consumer Products Division. She earned her Ph.D. in Microbiology from Cornell University and did a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Harvard Medical School where she conducted research on microbial biofilms. At BASF, Dr. Junker and her team of biotechnologists work together with BASF’s Beauty Care Solutions, Care Chemicals to provide efficacious solutions for skin health, focusing on microbiome benefits.

  • Qing Sun

    Dr. Sun joined The Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering in January 2018 as assistant professor. She obtained her Ph. D. in Dr. Wilfred Chen group at University of Delaware and did her postdoc training in Dr. Timothy Lu group at MIT Synthetic Biology Center.
    We focus on synthetic biology with advancing designs and applications. Using our expertise in molecular engineering, protein engineering, and microbial consortia engineering, we are developing new techniques to reprogram gut microbiome, protein machinery and biomaterials. Our current application areas include health, environment and energy

  • Gigi Gronvall

    Gigi Gronvall is a Senior Scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and an Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Gronvall is the author of the book Synthetic Biology: Safety, Security, and Promise, published in fall 2016 (Health Security Press) and Preparing for Bioterrorism: The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s Leadership in Biosecurity. (2013) She is a member of the Novel and Exceptional Technology and Research Advisory Committee (NExTRAC) which provides recommendations to the NIH Director and is a public forum for the discussion of the scientific, safety, and ethical issues associated with emerging biotechnologies. Dr. Gronvall is a member of the Threat Reduction Advisory Committee (TRAC), which provides the Secretary of Defense with independent advice and recommendations on reducing the risk to the United States, its military forces, and its allies and partners posed by nuclear, biological, chemical, and conventional threats. She served as the Science Advisor for the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism from April 2009 until February 2010. Dr. Gronvall is an Associate Editor of the journal Health Security, and is a Life Member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She was a National Research Council Postdoctoral Associate at the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. Dr. Gronvall received a BS in biology from Indiana University, Bloomington, worked as a protein chemist at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and received a PhD from Johns Hopkins University for work on T-cell receptor/MHC I interactions.

  • Deepti Tanjore

    At ABPDU, our passion for bio-innovation drives us. Every day. Whether we’re evaluating biomass, experimenting with microorganisms, optimizing new processes, or performing assays and analyses, our end goal never changes. Simply put, we want to enable you to successfully take your bio-innovation to market.

    We’ve been operational since 2012, collaborating with researchers in the bio-products industry, the National Labs, and academia to optimize and scale technologies to enable the commercialization of bio-based chemicals, materials, and fuels.

  • Patrick Cirino

    Patrick Cirino is Associate Professor in the Departments of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and Biology and Biochemistry, at the University of Houston (Houston, TX). He received his PhD degree in chemical engineering from The California Institute of Technology, working with advisor Frances Arnold in the area of cytochrome P450 directed evolution. He then worked as a postdoctoral research associate in microbiology at the University of Florida, under Lonnie Ingram. Current research at the University of Houston incorporates directed evolution and synthetic biology to study and engineer protein-based sensors, biosynthesis pathways, and biocatalysts for production of natural products and functionalization of hydrocarbons.

  • Gene Olinger

    Dr. Gene Olinger is a Science Advisor with MRIGlobal and an adjunct associate professor at Boston University’s School of Medicine, Dept. of Medicine, and Division of Infectious Diseases. For the past 20 years he has conducted and supervised in vitro and in vivo experiments in maximum biocontainment (risk level 2-4) at government, industry, and academic laboratories with a focus on high consequence pathogens and biodefense. In his current at MRIGlobal, he is responsible for the scientific mission within internal laboratories, partner laboratories, and in deployed field operations which focused on global health security. He is internationally recognized as a subject matter expert in virology, immunology, biorisk, biosecurity and biosafety with an emphasis with viral hemorrhagic fevers. He has extensive field experience serving as a member, science leader coordinating diagnostic, serological, and other clinical assays to monitor patients during and after outbreaks. Furthermore, he has extensive experience in development of medical countermeasures ranging from prophylactic treatments, vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics. His team in collaboration with international partners developed the first successful antibody treatment for Ebolavirus disease, ZMapp. During the past three years, Dr. Olinger has exanded his area of expertise to include innovative knowledge workforce development using mixed reality/blended learning, science policy, biosurvellance and monitoring using UAS drones, and bioeconomy team building.

  • Arul M Varman

  • Robert Friedman

    Robert Friedman is Vice President for Policy and University Relations at the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI). Friedman directs JCVI’s Policy Center, which examines the societal and policy implications of genomics, synthetic biology, and other areas of modern biology and biomedicine. Friedman is also a Professor of Practice at the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS) and is a member of the Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Synthetic Biology of the international Convention on Biological Diversity.

    Earlier, Friedman was a Senior Associate at the Office of Technology Assessment, U.S. Congress (OTA). For 16 years, he advised Congressional committees on issues involving science and technology policy. Friedman received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in Ecological Systems Analysis, concentrating in ecology, environmental engineering, and systems analysis. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  • Philip Romero

    Philip Romero is an Assistant Professor in Biochemistry and Chemical & Biological Engineering at UW-Madison.  He received his PhD in Biochemistry from Caltech and conducted postdoctoral research at UCSF.  The Romero laboratory applies tools from statistics and machine learning to design proteins for broad applications in medicine, chemical production, and bioenergy.  Dr. Romero has received the Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation Award (2016), the NIH Outstanding Investigator Award (2016), the Shaw Scientist Award (2018), and the WARF Innovation Award (2019).

  • Michael Koepke

    Michael is a pioneer in genetic engineering and strain development of gas fermenting organisms to convert carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide to useful products. His research on Clostridium ljungdahlii demonstrated for the first time that gas fermenting acetogens can be genetically modified and provided a first genome and genetic blueprint of such an organism.

    Since 2009, Michael is Director of Synthetic Biology at LanzaTech, a company that has developed a proprietary gas fermentation process that is revolutionizing the way the world thinks about waste carbon by treating it as an opportunity instead of a liability. Michael and his team are responsible for development of genetic tools and synthetic pathways as well as strain engineering of LanzaTech’s proprietary gas fermenting organisms to optimize performance of the process and expand the product portfolio. Michael leads several of LanzaTech R&D collaborations with both industrial and academic partners.

    Michael has over 15 years of experience working with clostridia and gas fermenting organisms and holds a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Biotechnology from University of Ulm, Germany. Michael authored over 100 patents and over 30 peer reviewed articles and book chapters. Michael also contributed as scientific advisor to the Joint Genome Institute (JGI) and co-organizer of international conferences as the 2018 Foundations of Systems Biology (FOSBE) and Biochemical and Molecular Engineering XXII and has been awarded the 2015 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge award for Greener Synthetic Pathways by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and American Chemical Society (ACS).

  • Aditya Kunjapur

    Dr. Aditya Kunjapur began as an Assistant Professor in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Delaware in December 2018. His lab focuses on expanding the repertoire of microbial chemistry with an emphasis on enabling new chemical functional groups in living contexts. Dr. Kunjapur received his doctoral degree from MIT in 2015, where he trained under Dr. Kristala Prather and enabled aldehyde biosynthesis in E. coli. Afterwards, he performed postdoctoral research under the supervision of Dr. George Church at Harvard Medical School, where he designed platforms to improve the fidelity of non-standard amino acid incorporation into proteins. Dr. Kunjapur was previously Co-Chair of the Synberc Student and Postdoc Association, the precursor to the EBRC. In 2019, Dr. Kunjapur was awarded an Emerging Leaders in Biosecurity Initiative Fellowship.

  • Back to top ⇑