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.
Mitch J. Doktycz
Expertise in Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Imaging, Nanomaterials, Synthetic biological systems. R&D 100 Award recipeint. Recipient of the National Federal Laboratory Consortium Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer. AAAS Member. Research and Career
Dale A. Pelletier
Expertise in Bacterial physiology, Microbial biology Genomics, microbe-microbe interactions and protein-protein interactions. Research and Career
Timothy J. Tschaplinski
A Plant molecular physiologist, his expertise is in metabolite profiling using mass spectrometry for molecular phenotypic characterization of plants and microbes. Research and Career
Paul E. Abraham
Staff Scientist, Bioanalytical Mass Spectrometry Group, Biosciences Division, ORNL.
A Bioanalytical Chemist, his expertise is in Biological mass spectrometry and Systems-scale modeling of biological networks. Research and Career
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. Research and Career
J. Chris Ellis
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. Research and Career
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. Research and Career
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. Research and Career
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. Research and Career
Leader of the Ecogenomics of Interactions Lab; Head of the Cluster of Excellence ARBRE (Advanced Research on the Biology of Tree Biology and Forest Ecosystems); Leader of the Mycorrhizal Genomics Initiative.
Awarded the INRA Laurel Wreath for Excellence in 2012, fo his work on tree-microbe interactions and fungal genomics.
Mycorrhizal symbosis, Plant physiologist, fungal ecology and genomics, soil metagenomics and tree physiology. Research and Career
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. Research and Career
Assistant Technician, Biosciences Division. A member of the Plant Systems Biology Group, he provides greenhouse, lab and field support. Research
Liane B. Russell Distinguished Staff Fellow. Bryan earned his Ph.D. in Biology from Duke University studying the ecology and evolution of Sphagnum peat mosses, integrating techniques in experimental ecology and computational biology to link genes to traits and ecosystems. 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.
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. Research and Career
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.
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. Research and Career
Professor of Biology, Duke University.
Expertise in fungal evolutionary genetics and molecular systematics. Research and Career
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. Research and Career
Postdoctoral Fellows and Research Associates
Kevin earned his Ph.D. degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he focused on evaluating the role of the common symbiosis pathway in controlling the establishment of the ectomycorrhizal association between Populus and the fungus Laccaria bicolor. He completed a three year postdoc at South Dakota State University evaluating carbon allocation in legume tripartite interactions with the nitrogen-fixing bacteria rhizobia and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. At ORNL, he will be characterizing how key members of the Populus microbiome enhance plant growth and identify the molecular mechanisms that facilitate these symbiotic associations.
Postdoctoral Research Associate, Biosciences Division, Plant Systems Biology Group. Kuntal has his PhD in Biochemistry and will be focusing his efforts on the regulation of AN (ANGUSTIFOLIA) with TDP1 (Tyrosyl-DNA phosphodiesterase 1) in the plant immune response.
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.
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. Research
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. Research
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.
Postdoctoral Research Associate, Biosciences Division, Molecular and Cellular Imaging Group. Jia received his PhD in Chemical and Biological Engineering at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. He has extensive experience in bioproducts/bioprocess engineering and will use his expertise in microbiology, biochemisty, bioinformatics, biological engineering and structural biology to understand the molecular mechanisms of microbe-microbe and plant-microbe interactions.
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
PhD Graduate Student, The Bredesen Center, University of Tennessee. Mentor: Dan Jacobson
Graduate Student, Genome Science and Technology, University of Tennessee.
Mentor: Robert Hettich
Post-doctoral fellow, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL).
Recipient of the Linus Pauling Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellowship.
Raghu Ram Badmi
Clinical Laboratory Technologist IV Next Generation Sequencing, Sema4.
Patricia Blair Saint-Vincent
Technical Director – Molecular Genetics, Biopathology Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus OH.
Assistant Professor, Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR.
Alisha G. Campbell
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.
Research Associate I at Pivot Bio, St. Louis, MO.
Director, Cultivation Research and Operations at Plantible Foods, San Diego, CA.
Biosolutions Lead Biohydrometallurgy, Cemvita Factory, Westminster, CO
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.
Research Associate at KWS SAAT SE, Einbeck, Germany
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.
AgBiome, Research Triangle Park, NC.
Medical Director, US Medical Affairs at Eisai US
Computational Biologist at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.
NRC Postdoctoral fellow, US Army DEVCOM, Chemical Biology Center
Hector F. Castro Gonzalez
Research Associate in the Department of Chemistry, University of Tennessee
Arborist and Plant Doctor, Better Nature Solutions
Operations & Systems Engineer at Mobius, Everett, Washington
Associate Professor at Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, in the Department of Chemical Engineering.
Data Scientist at Arva Intelligence.
Associate Director, Invaio Sciences, Cambridge, MA.
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.
Postdoctoral fellow in the David Hibbet Lab at Clark University, Worchester, MA
Biology Professor at Central Community College, Hastings, NE
Scientist, Technology and Development, Elo Life Systems, Durham, NC.
Lead Cell-Free Scientist, LanzaTech, Skokie, IL
Director of Bioinformatics at Ardigen, Kraków, Poland
Research Fellow at Western Sydney University, Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, Australia
Medical Science Writer/Editor
University of Tennessee Medical Center, Knoxville, TN
Postdoctoral Research Associate in the lab of Dr. Todd Sulchek at the Georgia Institute of Technology (GA Tech), Atlanta, GA.
Computational Biologist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM.
Patent Analyst at Cardinal Intellectual Property, Austin, TX
Scientist II with Abclonal Technology, Woburn, MA.
Research Scientist, John Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Maryland http://ww.jhuapl.edu/
Sandra Huynh Truong
Research Scientist, Crop Systems Modeling at Corteva Agriscience,
Senior Bioinformatics Scientist in the Bioinformatics Core, Purdue University, Lafayette, IN.
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.
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.
Assistant Professor, Computer Science and Engineering, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Associate Professor at China Pharmaceutical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China.