BTI Faculty

The BioTechnology Institute (BTI) includes faculty members from across the University, including the College of Biological Sciences (CBS), the College of Science and Engineering (CSE), the College of Forestry, Agriculture and Natural Resources (CFANS), and the Academic Health Centers (AHC)

Alptekin Aksan

Alptekin Aksan

Professor
Mechanical Engineering

aaksan@umn.edu

Biostabilization; bioencapsulation; biotransport; biomechanics

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Brett Barney

Brett Barney

Associate Professor
Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering

bbarney@umn.edu

Biofuels; biofertilizers; biosynthetic pathways

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David Baumler

David Baumler

Assistant Professor
Food Science and Nutrition

dbaumler@umn.edu

Infectious disease and genomics of foodborne pathogens; beneficial microbial flora; microbiome

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Jannell Bazurto

Jannell Bazurto

Assistant Professor
Plant and Microbial Biology

jbazurto@umn.edu

Regulatory mechanisms; bacterial physiology; metabolic stress; methylobacterium

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Sebastian Behrens

Sebastian Behrens

Associate Professor
Civil, Environmental, & Geo-Engineering

sbehrens@umn.edu

Microbial bioremediation; environmental contaminants; resource recovery

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Daniel Bond

Daniel Bond

Professor
Plant and Microbial Biology

dbond@umn.edu

Physiology and functional genomics of metal-reducing bacteria; microbial interactions with electrodes

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Steven Bowden

Steven Bowden

Assistant Professor
Food Science and Nutrition

sbowden@umn.edu

Foodborne pathogens; microbial stress responses; bacterial genetics and virulence; functional genomics; bacteriophages

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Kyle Costa

Kyle Costa

Assistant Professor
Plant and Microbial Biology

kcosta@umn.edu

Methanogen physiology; microbial metabolism; anaerobic microbiology

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Antony Dean

Antony Dean

Professor
Ecology, Evolution & Behavior

deanx024@umn.edu

Molecular evolution; enzymology; isopropylmalate dehydrogenase (IDH)

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Mark Distefano

Mark Distefano

Professor
Chemistry

diste001@umn.edu

Protein prenylation; molecular recognition and catalysis in proteins; protein engineering; bioorganic chemistry

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Gary Dunny

Gary Dunny

Professor
Microbiology, Immunology & Cancer Biology

dunny001@umn.edu

Gram-positive bacteria; expression of genetic transfer functions; virulence regulation; regulatory mechanisms

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Mikael Elias

Mikael Elias

Associate Professor
Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, & Biophysics

mhelias@umn.edu

Microbial enzymes and systems; bio-remediation; cellular phosphate uptake mechanism

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Kathryn Fixen

Kathryn Fixen

Assistant Professor
Plant and Microbial Biology

kfixen@umn.edu

Redox regulation of metabolism; anoxygenic phototrophs; product formation

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Mike Freeman

Mike Freeman

Assistant Professor
Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, & Biophysics

mffreema@umn.edu

Natural product biosynthesis; microbial genetics; targeted metagenomics; radical-mediated chemistry

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Jeff Gralnick

Jeff Gralnick

Professor
Plant and Microbial Biology

gralnick@umn.edu

Microbial physiology; synthetic biology; geomicrobiology; Shewanella; bioenergy; bioremediation; biocatalysis

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Ben Hackel

Ben Hackel

Associate Professor
Chemical Engineering & Materials Science

hackel@umn.edu

Protein engineering; molecular diagnostics; targeted therapy; oncology; infectious disease

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Trinity Hamilton

Trinity Hamilton

Associate Professor
Plant and Microbial Biology

trinityh@umn.edu

Microbial photosynthesis; global biogeochemical cycles; microbial ecosystems, ecology, and evolution

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Will Harcombe

Will Harcombe

Associate Professor
Ecology, Evolution & Behavior

harcombe@umn.edu

Cooperation and conflict; eco-evolutionary feedback; microbial communities; microbial interactions; systems biology

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Raymond Hozalski

Raymond Hozalski

Professor
Civil, Environmental, and Geo-Engineering

hozal001@umn.edu

Bacterial biofilms; environmental engineering and human health; water distribution systems; biologically-active filters for water treatment; biofouling

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Bo Hu

Bo Hu

Professor
Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering

bhu@umn.edu

Bioprocessing technologies; biofuels; biomass utilization; industrial fermentation; waste management and treatment

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Wei-Shou Hu

Wei-Shou Hu

Professor
Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

acre@cems.umn.edu

Cell culture technology; tissue engineering; metabolic engineering; quantitative modeling of biological systems

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Satoshi Ishii

Satoshi Ishii

Associate Professor
Soil, Water, and Climate

ishi0040@umn.edu

Applied microbiology and biotechnology; nitrogen pollution; genomics; metagenomics; meta transcriptomics; high-throughput sequencing; bioinformatics; bioreactors; mathematical modeling

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Romas Kazlauskas

Romas Kazlauskas

Professor
Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, & Biophysics

rjk@umn.edu

Green (sustainable) chemistry; enzyme modeling; enzyme design; enzyme engineering

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George Karypis

George Karypis

Professor
Computer Science & Engineering

karypis@umn.edu

Data mining; recommender systems; learning analytics; high-performance computing; chemical informatics; problems in health informatics, information retrieval, bioinformatics, and scientific computing

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Arkady Khodursky

Arkady Khodursky

Associate Professor
Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, & Biophysics

khodu001@umn.edu

Functional genomics; gene expression patterns; microarray applications; signal processing; adaptation in antibiotic-resistant bacteria; genomic landscape

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Alex Khoruts

Alex Khoruts

Professor of Medicine
Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition

khoru001@umn.edu

Microbiota-host interactions; microbiota therapeutics; disease pathogenesis; C. difficile; energy metabolism

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Linda Kinkel

Linda Kinkel

Professor
Department of Plant Pathology

kinkel@umn.edu

Epidemiology and ecology of plant diseases; ecology of plant-associated micro-organisms; antibiotic-producing bacteria

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Dan Knights

Dan Knights

Associate Professor
Computer Science and Engineering

dknights@umn.edu

Model host-microbiome interactions; microbial community patterns that predict and diagnose human diseases; computational microbiology

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Tim LaPara

Tim LaPara

Professor
Civil, Environmental & Geo-Engineering

lapar001@umn.edu

Biological wastewater treatment; wastewater and environmental microbiology; microbial ecology and evolution; antibiotic resistance

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Gary Muehlbauer

Gary Muehlbauer

Professor
Agronomy and Plant Genetics

muehl003@umn.edu

Wheat and barley molecular genetics; Fusarium head blight (FHB); genomics resources in breeding programs; germplasm enhancement; genetic characterization

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Chad Myers

Chad Myers

Professor
Computer Science & Engineering

chadm@umn.edu

Computational methods to categorize, visualize, and model biological data and systems; machine learning; biological networks

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Tom Niehaus

Tom Niehaus

Assistant Professor
Plant and Microbial Biology

tniehaus@umn.edu

Metabolic biochemistry; biochemical and genetic techniques; recombinant enzyme assay; metabolomics

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Paige Novak

Paige Novak

Professor
Department of Civil, Environmental, & Geo-Engineering

novak010@umn.edu

Biological transformation of hazardous substances; biodegradation; PCB dechlorinators; dehalorespirers; estrogenic compounds; micropollutants; reactive membrane systems

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Michael Sadowsky

Michael Sadowsky

Professor
Department of Soil, Water, & Climate
Director, BioTechnology Institute

sadowsky@umn.edu

Molecular plant-microbe interactions; nitrogen-fixing symbiotic systems; biodegradation; bioremediation; metagenomics of soil, water, and intestinal environments

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Christine Salomon

Christine Salomon

Associate Professor
Center for Drug Design

csalomon@umn.edu

Biological control of plant disease; antibiotic resistance; communication networks among bacterial populations

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Cara Santelli

Cara Santelli

Associate Professor
Earth & Environmental Sciences

santelli@umn.edu

Impact of microbial activity on geological and environmental processes; nutrient biogeochemical cycling; environmental remediation; influence of anthropogenic activity on biogeochemical processes

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Casim Sarkar

Casim Sarkar

Associate Professor
Biomedical Engineering

csarkar@umn.edu

Biomolecular engineering; synthetic biology; systems biology; cellular decision making; molecular and cellular therapeutics

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Jonathan Schilling

Jonathan Schilling

Professor
Plant and Microbial Biology

schillin@umn.edu

Microbial decomposers; biotechnological potential; ecological dynamics; carbon cycling; Earth Systems Models

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Claudia Schmidt-Dannert

Claudia Schmidt-Dannert

Professor
Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, & Biophysics

schmi232@umn.edu

Biosynthetic machinery; sustainable synthesis; multi-enzyme biocatalysis; genetically programmable, self-organizing protein-based functional materials

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Burckhard Seelig

Burckhard Seelig

Associate Professor
Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics

seelig@umn.edu

Darwinian molecular evolution; novel protein generation; synthetic biology; origin and evolution of functional proteins; history of the genetic code

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Mike Smanski

Mike Smanski

Associate Professor
Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics

smanski@umn.edu

Natural product discovery; genome mining; genetic systems engineering

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Friedrich Srienc

Friedrich Srienc

Professor
Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

srienc@umn.edu

Gene expression; protein synthesis; metabolic networks; growth physiology of cells; flow cytometry; bioreactors

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Christopher Staley

Christopher Staley

Assistant Professor
Department of Surgery

cmstaley@umn.edu

Microbiota disruptions; microbial ecology; next-generation sequencing; microbiota-based therapies

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Brandy Toner

Brandy Toner

Professor
Soil, Water, and Climate

toner@umn.edu

Biogeochemistry of metals; partitioning of metals among gas, aqueous, solid, and biological phases in the environment; metals in natural systems

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Michael Travisano

Michael Travisano

Professor
Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior

travisan@umn.edu

Ecological and evolutionary dynamics; evolutionary genetics; microbial ecology and evolution; yeast speciation

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Larry Wackett

Larry Wackett

Professor
Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics

wacke003@umn.edu

Biodegradation; bioremediation; biosynthesis of natural products; enzymology; applications of enzymes in industrial processes

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Ping Wang

Ping Wang

Professor
Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering

ping@umn.edu

Enzyme engineering and nano biocatalysis; bioprocessing and bioreactors; biosensors; biodegradation; biofuels and bioenergy; biomass-based chemicals and materials; smart coatings and nano functional materials; carbon capture and conversion

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Carrie M. Wilmot

Carrie M. Wilmot

Professor
Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics

wilmo004@umn.edu

Structural enzymology; natural products; metalloenzymes; macromolecular X-ray crystallography; spectroscopic techniques; kinetics; mass spectrometry

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