PMI Team

Mitch Doktycz serves as the Laboratory Research Manager of the Plant-Microbes Interfaces Scientific Focus Area with Dale Pelletier and Timothy Tschaplinski, who serve as the Scientific Co-managers.  Together, they contribute to the overall scientific direction and management of the SFA,  including establishing scientific priorities with clear milestones and deliverables, prioritizing tasks, monitoring progress, allocating resources and workforce, establishing future directions and reporting to the BER program manager at the US Department of Energy (DOE).  The PMI team includes investigators from two research Divisions at ORNL – the Biosciences Division (BSD), and the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS). Core collaborators from the University of Washington (Carrie S. Harwood, E. Peter Greenberg, Amy Schaefer), Duke University (Rytas Vilgalys) and the French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and the Environment (INRAE-Nancy, France; Francis Martin, Annegret Kohler, Aurélie Deveau, and Claire Veneault-Fourrey) complement the ORNL PMI team. Members of the team are listed below.

Project Management

Mitch J. Doktycz

ORNL Corporate Fellow and Distinguished Staff Scientist in the Biosciences Division. Section Head for Bioimaging and Analytics.

Expertise in biochemistry, molecular and cellular imaging, nanomaterials, synthetic biological systems. Recipient of the R&D 100 Award and National Federal Laboratory Consortium Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer.

Dale A. Pelletier

Senior Staff Scientist in the Biosciences Division, Group Leader for Integrative Microbiomics.

Expertise in bacterial physiology, microbial biology genomics, microbe-microbe interactions and protein-protein interactions.

Timothy J. Tschaplinski

Distinguished Research Scientist in the Biosciences Division, Section Head for Biodesign and Systems Biology.

A plant molecular physiologist with expertise in metabolite profiling using mass spectrometry for molecular phenotypic characterization of plants and microbes.

Amy Kelley

Project Manager for the Plant-Microbe Interfaces SFA.  A member of the Biosciences Division  and Molecular and Cellular Imaging.

Staff Members

Paul E. Abraham

Staff Scientist in the Biosciences Division,  Bioanalytical Mass Spectrometry.
A Bioanalytical Chemist with expertise in biological mass spectrometry and systems-scale modeling of biological networks.

Leah Burdick

Technical Professional, Biosciences Division, Member of the Synthetic Biology Group.

Jay Chen

Research and Development Staff Scientist, Biosciences Division, ORNL.  Group Leader for the Plant Systems Biology Group. Plant molecular biology and molecular genetics, plant signal transduction.

Melissa Cregger

Staff Scientist, Biosciences Division, ORNL. Member of the Integrative Microbiomics Group.
Ecosystem Ecologist with expertise in Microbial diversity and Microbial community dynamics.

Kuntal De

Technical Professional in the Plant Systems Biology Group, Biosciences Division  at ORNL.

Omar Demerdash

Staff Scientist, Biosciences Division.  A member of the Molecular Biophysics Group.
His expertise is in force-field development, molecular dynamics calculations and protein docking predictions. Omar is developing computational approaches for defining protein structures and molecular interactions that underlie microbiome organization.

Nancy Engle

Master Technician in the Plant Systems Biology Group, Biosciences Division, ORNL.

E. Peter Greenberg

Professor of Microbiology, University of Washington. National Academy of Science Member.  Co-recipient of the Shaw Prize in Life Science and Medicine for his work in quorum sensing.
His expertise is in sociomicrobiology, quorum sensing systems, biofilm biology and regulation of virulence genes.

Caroline Harwood

Gerald and Lyn Grinstein Endowed Professor in Microbiology, University of Washington.  Member of the National Academy of Sciences, AAAS and American Academy of Microbiology. Procter & Gamble Award recipient in Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Her expertises is in metabolic networks, bacterial signaling, and bioenergy production.

Robert Hettich

Distinguished Research Scientist in the Biosciences Division, ORNL.  Group Leader of the Bioanalytical Mass Spectrometry Group.   His expertise is in biological mass spectrometry and high-performance mass spectrometry.

Dan Jacobson

Chief Scientist for Computational Systems Biology,  Biosciences Division. A member of the Computational and Predictive Biology Group.  His expertise is in Machine Learning, Next Generation Sequencing Bioinformatics and Computational Biology.  Recipient of the 2018 Gordon Bell Prize for high-performance advanced computing.

Sara Jawdy

Technical Professional, Biosciences Division, Plant Systems Biology
Her expertise is in genetics, systems biology, and molecular biology.

David Kainer

Staff Member, Biosciences Division, and member of the Computational and Predictive Biology Group.  His expertise is in computational discovery of genes that influence quantitative traits from multiple layers of ‘omics data as well al analyzing the genomic basis of complex traits.

Udaya Kalluri

Senior Staff Scientist, Biosciences Division, Plant Systems Biology.  Expertise in plant biology, and molecular biology.

Stanton Martin

Data Management Lead Scientist in the Biosciences Division, ORNL and Data Management Lead for the Center for Bioenergy Innovation (CBI).  A member in the Computational and Predictive Biology Group, the FAIR Strategic Team Lead, and National Microbiome Data Collaborative.

Mac McLennan

Assistant Technician, Biosciences Division. A member of the Plant Systems Biology Group, he provides greenhouse, lab and field support.

Josh Michener

Staff Scientist, Biosciences Division, ORNL.  Member of the Synthetic Biology Group.  Microbiologist and Metabolic Engineer.

Jennifer Morrell-Falvey

Staff Scientist, Biosciences Division, ORNL and Group Leader of the Molecular and Cellular Imaging Group.  Her expertise is in molecular genetics, flourescent imaging and biofilm mechanisms, and cell biology.

Wellington Muchero

Staff Scientist, Biosciences Division, Plant Systems Biology.
His expertise is in plant pathology, molecular genetics, quantitative genetics and genomics.

Bryan Piatkowski

Liane B. Russell Distinguished Staff Fellow. His postdoctoral work consisted of working to better understand the genomics of speciation in Sphagnum.  He is a member of the Plant Systems Biology Group.

Mircea Podar

Distinguished Staff Scientist, Biosciences Division, ORNL.  AAALS member.  A member of the Integrative Microbiomics Group. Microbiologist with expertise in single cell genomics, metagenomics and evolutionary genomics.

Scott Retterer

Section Head of the Nanomaterials Synthesis Section  at the  Center for Nanophase Sciences and Senior Research Staff Scientist, Biosciences Division, ORNL.  His expertise is in biomedical engineering, nanofabrications, microfluidics and microscale bacterial cultivation systems.

Tomás Rush

Staff Member in the Biosciences Division at ORNL.  A member of the Synthetic Biology Group.  A fungal systems and plant pathologist with expertise in fungal behavior, signaling, secondary metabolism production, and taxonomy through bioinformatics.

Christopher Schadt

Senior Staff Scientist, Biosciences Division, ORNL. A member of the Integrative Microbiomics Group.  A Microbial ecologist with expertise in plant-microbe interactions and soil biogeochemistry.

Amy Schaefer

Research Scientist, University of Washington.
Her expertise is in quorum-sensing systems.

Erica Teixeira Prates

Research Staff Scientist.  A member of the Computational and Predictive Biology Group, Biosciences Division.  Her focus is averaging a variety of computational methods to identify, on a proteome-wide scale, the structure-dynamics relationships underlying function of proteins of interest.

 

Claire Veneault-Fourrey

French National Institute for Agricultural Research/INRAE, Nancy, France. Her expertise is in molecular plant pathology, molecular biology, and fungal biology.

Rytas Vilgalys

Professor of Biology, Duke University.
Expertise in fungal evolutionary genetics and molecular systematics.

 

Amber Webb

Technical Professional in the Biosciences Division.  A member of the Molecular and Cellular Imaging Group.
Molecular geneticist and microbiologist.

Dave Weston

Staff Scientist, Biosciences Division, Plant Systems Biology.
Molecular plant physiologist and computational biologist.

Xiaohan Yang

Senior Staff Scientist, Biosciences Division, and a member of the Synthetic Biology Group.  His expertise is in plant molecular biology, bioinformatics, computational genomics and transcriptome sequencing.

Larry York

Staff Scientist in the Biosciences Division at ORNL and a member of the Molecular and Cellular Imaging Group.  A plant ecophysiologist with expertise in root biology, image-based phenotyping, and gas flux analysis.

Postdoctoral Fellows and Research Associates

Alex Fisch

Postdoctoral Research Associate.  Biosciences Division, Molecular and Cellular Imaging Group.
Alex is an Organic Chemist and will be focusing on the synthesis of plant and microbial secondary metabolites.

Yi-Syuan Guo

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Biosciences Division, Molecular and Cellular Imaging Group.
Yi-Syuan is a Chemical Engineer with expertise in microbfabrication.  Her focus will be in developing microfluidic devices in order to understand bacterial-fungal interactions.

Muneeba Khalid

Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Biosciences Division, Molecular and Cellular Imaging Group.  Muneeba received her PhD in Applied Biosciences from the National University of Sciences and Technology, Pakistan.  Her expertise is in micro fabrication, microfluidics, and developing microscope microbial cultivation systems.

Mikaela Cashman McDevitt

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Biosciences Division, Computational and Predictive Biology Group.  Mikaela has her Ph.D. in Computer Science from Iowa State University.  Her research interests lie in the intersection of computational and biological science.  Her focus is on bioinformatics workflows and algorithms, GPU utilizing methods, and integration of ‘omics data.

Jaclyn Noshay

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Biosciences Division, Computational and Predictive Biology Group.  Jaclyn pursued her Ph.D. on chromatin architectdure and transposable element dynamics in Zea mays.  She will utilize her expertise in epigenetics going forward in the PMI SFA.

Students

Manasa Appidi

PhD Graduate Student, Genome Science and Technology,University of Tennessee.
Mentor: Robert Hettich

Jaime "Enzo" Dinglasan

PhD Graduate Student, Genome Science and Technology, University of Tennessee.
Mentor: Mitchel Doktycz

Anna Furches

PhD Graduate Student, The Bredesen Center, University of Tennessee. Mentor:  Dan Jacobson

Armin Geiger

PhD Graduate Student, The Bredesen Center, University of Tennessee.  Mentor:  Dan Jacobson

Him Shrestha

Graduate Student, Genome Science and Technology, University of Tennessee.
Mentor: Robert Hettich

Alumni

Mindy Clark

Research Operations Support Professional at ORNL.

Jia Wang

Postdoctoral Associate, Department of Food Science at University of Tennessee in Knoxville

Kevin Cope

Plant Physiology Scientist II at Bayer Crop Science, Chesterfield, Missouri, United States.

Tae-Hyuk Ahn

Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, MO.

Raghu Ram Badmi

Scientist, Scientific Writer, and Project Manager, Umeå Plant Science Center, Umeå, Västerbotten, Sweden

Aditya Barde

Clinical Laboratory Technologist IV Next Generation Sequencing,  Sema4.
Stamford, CT.

Patricia Blair Saint-Vincent

Associate Staff Member, Bioanalytical Mass Spectrometry Group, Biosciences Division, ORNL.

Gregory Bonito

Assistant Professor, Molecular and Plant Sciences, Michigan State University.
Bonito Lab: https://bonito.psm.msu.edu/

Steve Brown

Director of New Strain Development, LanzaTech, Skokie, IL.

Anthony Bryan

Technical Director – Molecular Genetics, Biopathology Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus OH.

Posy Busby

Assistant Professor, Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR.

Alisha G. Campbell

Assistant Professor in the Department of Natural Sciences at Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville, MO.

Dana Carper

Technical Professional at Oak Ridge National Labs.  A member of the Bioanalytical Mass Spectrometry Group and project manager of the Secure Ecosystem Engineering Design SFA.

Jennifer Childers

Research Associate I at Pivot Bio, St. Louis, MO.

Karuna Chourey

Director, Cultivation Research and Operations at Plantible Foods, San Diego, CA.

Stephan Christel

Biosolutions Lead Biohydrometallurgy, Cemvita Factory, Westminster, CO

Ashley Cliff

Computational Biologist currently at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine.

Bruna Gonçalves Coutinho

Interim Manager, Process Devleopment, at BioVectra, Inc., Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada

W. Nathan Cude

Senior Scientist at Novozymes, North America, Durham, NC.

Olaf Czarnecki

Research Associate at KWS SAAT SE, Einbeck, Germany

Sanjeev Dahal

Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Queen’s University in Canada.  He will be working in Dr. Laurence Yang’s lab developing predictive bacterial metabolic models.

Nicholas Dove

AgBiome, Research Triangle Park, NC.

Kasey Estenson

Medical Director, US Medical Affairs at Eisai US
Philadelphia

Benjamin Garcia

Computational Biologist at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.

David Garcia

NRC Postdoctoral fellow, US Army DEVCOM, Chemical Biology Center

Hector F. Castro Gonzalez

Research Associate in the Department of Chemistry, University of Tennessee

Cyd Hamilton

Arborist and Plant Doctor, Better Nature Solutions

Michelle Halsted

Operations & Systems Engineer at Mobius, Everett, Washington

Ryan Hansen

Associate Professor at Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, in the Department of Chemical Engineering.

Piet Jones

Data Scientist at Arva Intelligence.

Se-Ran Jun

Biomedical Informatics, College of Medicine, Little Rock, AR.

Jesse Labbé

Associate Director, Invaio Sciences, Cambridge, MA.

Zhou Li

Senior Scientist, Pfizer NY in the Greater NY area.

Hui-Ling (Sunny) Liao

Assistant Professor, Soil Microbial Ecology
North Florida Research and Education Center, Quincy, FL.

Brian Looney

Postdoctoral fellow in the David Hibbet Lab at Clark University, Worchester, MA

Haiwei Lu

Biology Professor at Central Community College, Hastings, NE

Anna Matthiadis

Scientist, Technology and Development, Elo Life Systems, Durham, NC.

Ryan McCormick

Research Scientist, Crop Systems Modelingd at DuPont Pioneer 
Johnston, Iowa

Ritesh Mewalal

Senior Research Associate at Berkeley Lab, Berkeley, CA

Ben Mohr

Lead Cell-Free Scientist, LanzaTech, Skokie, IL

Chongle Pan

Associate Professor of Microbiology and Plant Biology and Computer Science
University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK.
https://www.thepanlab.com/

Marek Piątek

Director of Bioinformatics at Ardigen, Kraków, Poland

Jonathan Plett

Research Fellow at Western Sydney University, Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, Australia

Michael Robeson

Assistant Professor at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences; Department of Biomedical Informatics, Little Rock, AR.

Grace Satterfield

Medical Science Writer/Editor
University of Tennessee Medical Center, Knoxville, TN

Peter Shankles

Postdoctoral Research Associate in the lab of Dr. Todd Sulchek at the Georgia Institute of Technology (GA Tech), Atlanta, GA.

Migun Shakya

Computational Biologist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM.

Poornima Sukumar

Patent Analyst at Cardinal Intellectual Property, Austin, TX

Yali Sun

Scientist II with Abclonal Technology, Woburn, MA.

Collin Timm

Research Scientist, John Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Maryland http://ww.jhuapl.edu/

Sandra Huynh Truong

Research Scientist, Crop Systems Modeling at Corteva Agriscience,

Jessie Uehling

Assistant professor, Fungal Biology in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR.

Sagar Utturkar

Senior Bioinformatics Scientist in the Bioinformatics Core, Purdue University, Lafayette, IN.

Allison Veach

Assistant professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Department of Environmental Science and Ecology

Sushmitha Vijaya Kumar

Staff Scientist, Roswell Biotechnologies, San Diego, CA.

Manuel Ivan Villalobos Solis

Process Development Scientist, Amgen, Thousand Oaks, CA.

Deborah Weighill

Post-doctoral research associate at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. A member of Dr. Jen’s  Jen Yeh Lab  in the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.  Pope Fellowship Award Recipient.

Qiuming Yao

Assistant Professor, Computer Science and Engineering, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Zhihao Zhang

Associate Professor at China Pharmaceutical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China.