Expert Details

Expert in Biotechnology, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology: Enzymology, Protein Biochemistry, Industry

Expert ID: 724669 Virginia, USA

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As a researcher in plant molecular biology, he published scientific data relevant for genetic modification of crops. He generated and characterized genetically modified plants, and published these data in peer-reviewed scientific journals. This research, and tangential research, allowed him to amass great knowledge of issues facing GMOs and agricultural biotechnology, from alterations at the genetic level of plants and their pathogens. He can easily communicate these topics and how they relate to public health and perception questions, as well as detail the scientific methods behind them.

Specifically, he earned his doctorate in the Department of Biochemistry at Virginia Tech, following the completion of his B.S. in biochemistry. He took this expertise to Vanderbilt University School of Medicine where he utilized a variety of biochemical techniques to study diabetes. He has used biochemistry theory and applications to probe questions involving mammals, plants, microbes, insects and yeast.

The foundation of biochemistry, in which his doctorate degree, is a cumulative knowledge of biology. He was also an instructor in the Department of Biology at Virginia Tech. While he approached biological questions using biochemical techniques, he was always responsible for keeping larger biology questions at hand. His knowledge of biology as a whole, his ability to communicate modern biology issues, and its uses in industry today allows him to use these skills effectively to educate and inform.

He views biotechnology as the emerging field in which biochemistry, bioinformatics, molecular biology and genetics have come together to produce new products, drugs and therapies. Following his doctorate in biochemistry and faculty positions at two nationally-ranked academic institutions, he turned to biotechnology industries. He currently serves as a consultant solving problems for biotech companies, educating legislators on biotech issues and working with engineers. He has also given several talks concerning biotechnology to lay audiences. Additionally, he spent 6 years working in the esteemed Fralin Biotechnology Center at Virginia Tech developing many relationships with the biotechnology industry. In summary, he has the ability to link his biological background to the culmination of what is now "biotechnology."

Put simply, he is a biochemist. One of the hallmarks of a biochemist is a detailed knowledge of enzymes, the factories of living cells. He spent several years performing enzymology-based experiments to characterize enzymes involved in signal transduction, plant biochemistry and diabetes. These works have been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. He also recognizes the connections between basic research and the need for a clear understanding of enzymology in industry- specifically, how enzymes are characterized for uses in human therapeutics, liquid detergents, pulp and paper, biofuels, cosmetics, foods and more.

He was fortunate to have been a graduate student during the "genome revolution" when multiple genomes were first being sequenced and annotated. As a plant molecular biologist characterizing a protein family from Arabidopsis, he was responsible for mining the growing Arabidopsis genome. This required skills to read, analyze and extract information from the genome, as well as learn manipulation techniques of genomic data from yeast, plants, human, yeast, drosophila and C. elegans. He produced genomic alignments and scoring methods to confirm genetic units of each. These skills allow him to understand the organization of published genomes and what qualifies a unit as a "gene." This will become imperative as personalized medicine comes online in the near future.

A large part of his biochemical research utilized antibodies. He designed epitopes for the production of antibodies, produced antibodies and qualified them using emperical techniques. He used the antibodies produced for ELISA, immunoprecipitation, Western detection and other experiments multiple times, and published these results in peer-reviewed scientific journals. This provided him with the knowledge to understand how antibodies are made and used, as they apply to therapeutics and for lab processes.

Following his fellowships at Virginia Tech and Vanderbilt Medical School, he took his broad knowledge of biochemistry and molecular biology into industry. He currently serves as an industrial biotechnology consultant in the mid-Atlantic region, helping biotechnology companies through scale-up processes, process design and creative ways to implement biotechnology into industrial processes, whether its cosmetics, food, pulp and paper, industrial enzymes, detergents and cleaners and others. He has given several lectures on the topic of industrial biotechnology, how it relates to current "green" initiatives and how non-biotechnology companies can utilize biotechnology to reduce waste and energy consumption, increase environmental compliance and improve products.

As a biomedical researcher, he mastered, used and even taught molecular biology techniques. Primarily, he designed cloning techniques, used them to express proteins in several recombinant systems, and characterized the resulting gene products. He has a solid understanding of current and developing molecular biology techniques that are being employed in plant and mammalian research, and how industry is using these applications for drug and product development.

At the core of his education and research experience as a biochemist is protein biochemistry. He has extensive experience generating proteins, doing protein quantification assays, enzymology, activity assays and structural knowledge. As a graduate student, he characterized multiple proteins from a family for their catalytic activities and performed structure-function analyses using FT-IR biophysical techniques for plant and human proteins. He also characterized post-translational modifications of transcription factor proteins involved in insulin production in mammals. He has a firm understanding of how proteins are used in industrial settings, such as food and biopharmaceuticals, and currently helps biotechnology companies troubleshoot protein biochemistry issues.


Expert may consult nationally and internationally, and is also local to the following cities: Virginia Beach, Virginia - Norfolk, Virginia - Chesapeake, Virginia - Richmond, Virginia - Newport News, Virginia - Hampton, Virginia - Alexandria, Virginia - Portsmouth, Virginia - Lynchburg, Virginia - Suffolk, Virginia

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Education

Year Degree Subject Institution
Year: 2004 Degree: Ph.D. Subject: Biochemistry Institution: Virginia Tech
Year: 1999 Degree: BS Subject: Biochemistry Institution: Virginia Tech

Work History

Years Employer Title Department Responsibilities
Years: 2007 to Present Employer: Undisclosed Title: Director Department: Responsibilities: He is responsible for business development duties, consulting on scientific issues for biotechnology and pharmaceutical firms, and working with engineers and providing biosafety consulting services for high-containment labs.
Years: 2005 to 2007 Employer: Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Title: Post-Doctoral Researcher Department: Molecular Physiology and Biophysics Responsibilities: He was responsible for characterization of proteins involved in transcription of the insulin gene in mice and cell culture, publication of peer-reviewed data in scientific journals, coordinating research with physicians, researchers and students
Years: 2005 to 2005 Employer: Virginia Tech Title: Faculty Instructor Department: Biology Responsibilities: He was the sole instructor for the "Molecular Biology Lab" course with approximately 40 senior undergraduate, graduate and medical students.

Career Accomplishments

Associations / Societies
Regional Manufacturing Institute (RMI); Committee Member, Greater Baltimore Committee (GBC), Bioscience Subcommittee; Virginia Biotechnology Association (VaBIO); Technology Council of Maryland/ Maryland Biotechnology Association (TCM/MdBIO); Virginia Manufacturers Association (VMA); Sigma Xi, The National Science Fraternity; Alpha Chi Sigma, Gamma Iota Chapter, The National Chemistry Fraternity; American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB); Biophysical Society; Crop Science Society of America
Awards / Recognition
Molecular Endocrinology Training Program fellowship two-time recipient via National Institutes of Health (NIH), Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, June 2005-February 2007;
Deep Gene Institute, U.C. Berkeley, Travel Grant Award, 2003;
Kendall W. King Memorial Scholarship Award, Outstanding Senior Graduate Student, Department of Biochemistry, Virginia Tech, 2003;
Biophysical Society Travel Grant Award, 2003;
American Society of Plant Biologists, Travel Grant Award, 2002;
Experimental Biology Travel Grant Award, 2001
Publications and Patents Summary
He has 4 publications and 1 textbook chapter.

Additional Experience

Training / Seminars
“Biotechnology as a Supplement, Not a Replacement, to Manufacturing in Maryland” Regional Manufacturing Institute (RMI) event, Baltimore Museum of Industry, Baltimore, MD, May 2007
“An Engineer’s Crash-Course in Biotechnology: From DNA to Factories” Alliance Engineering Inc., Richmond, VA, 2002
“Biotechnology and Manufacturing: What is Biotech?” Regional Manufacturing Institute, Baltimore, MD, October 2003
“Characterization of an Inositol Signal-Terminating Enzyme from Arabidopsis thaliana” Experimental Biology International Meeting, Orlando, FL, 2001
“Cancer in the Post-Genomic Era” Department of Biochemistry and The Fralin Biotechnology Center, Virginia Tech, October 2002
“Phosphatidylinositol (4,5)-bisphosphate and a Rare Genetic Disease: Lowe Syndrome” Department of Biochemistry and The Fralin Biotechnology Center, Virginia Tech, December 2003
“A Physiological, Biochemical and Structural Analysis of Inositol Polyphosphate 5-Phosphatases from Arabidopsis thaliana and Humans” Doctoral Defense Seminar, November 2004
“Possible role of phosphomodifications of MafA in transactivation” Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Dept. of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, Beta Cell Consortium, Nashville, TN May 2006
Marketing Experience
Well-versed in the life sciences business and manufacturing sector throughout the mid-Atlantic region. Worked with biotechnology companies at all stages of development to assist them through proper facility design and scientific resources to speed up product process. Consulted with IP lawyers to clarify specific biotechnology concepts for patent litigation purposes. Worked with engineers to verify that end-users in biotechnology companies have the facility they need to continue/ expand their research.
Other Relevant Experience
Has vast network of associates through various professional organizations: Regional Manufacturing Institute (RMI); Committee Member, Greater Baltimore Committee (GBC), Bioscience Subcommittee; Virginia Biotechnology Association (VaBIO); Technology Council of Maryland/ Maryland Biotechnology Association (TCM/MdBIO); Virginia Manufacturers Association (VMA); Sigma Xi, The National Science Fraternity; Alpha Chi Sigma, Gamma Iota Chapter, The National Chemistry Fraternity; American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB); Biophysical Society; Crop Science Society of America

Fields of Expertise

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