The Purdue faculty members below have agreed to be active members of CPIASR. Please note this is not a comprehensive list of all Purdue faculty members conducting biotechnology research. Colombian faculty members and students are welcome to review the Purdue website to identify other potential collaborators. The following are excellent resources for identifying Purdue biotechnology researchers:
Professor, Department of Food Sciences
Professional webpage: http://www.ag.purdue.edu/foodsci/Pages/bhunia.aspx
Pathogenic Mechanism of Enteric Pathogens:
Professor, Inorganic Chemistry
Dr. Abu-Omar’s research group is interested in understanding the reaction chemistry of transition element compounds with particular emphasis on their role in molecular and biological catalysis. Their investigations are aimed at building mechanistic understanding that can advance our knowledge of catalysts and improve their design. They determine reaction mechanisms by studying chemical kinetics, characterizing intermediates, and developing structure-function correlations.
One of his laboratory’s hallmarks is that they combine mechanistic/physical studies and synthetic chemistry. They are currently engaged in several projects that span fundamental atom transfer, strategies for chemical hydrogen storage, novel uses of oxorhenium catalysts in reductions, understanding olefin polymerization, folding dynamics in metalloproteins that relate to disease, and activation of small molecules.
Researchers in his group synthesize new inorganic complexes, characterize them by several spectroscopic methods (NMR, mass spectrometry, IR, X-ray, etc.), and study their reaction chemistry.
Dr. Abu-Omar’s research is funded by external grants from Basic Energy Science, Department of Energy; Chemistry Division, National Science Foundation; and Dow Corning Corporation.
Associate Professor, Ecohydrology
Joint appointments in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, and the Division of Environmental and Ecological Engineering
Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering - Ecohydrology, solute and sediment transport at various spatial/temporal scales, development and assessment of best management practices to minimize nonpoint source pollution, spatial variability of natural processes that control hydrologic/water quality watershed response, effect of land use on sediment, nutrient and metal transport, interaction of terrestrial and aquatic processes affecting water quality and linking these processes to develop integrated watershed/water quality management technology, mathematical modeling of sediment, nutrients and metals at different spatial scales, and application of geographic information systems and remote sensing in developing decision support system for ecosystem management.
Professor, Agricultural Economics
Director, Purdue Climate Change Research Center
Professor Doering’s research, teaching, service, and adult education focused on the economic analysis of public policy issues in agriculture, energy, and natural resources. Professor Doering was part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change group that shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for their work.
Professor Doering is a public policy specialist on economic issues affecting agriculture, natural resources, and energy. He has served the U.S. Department of Agriculture working on the 1977 and 1990 Farm Bills. In 1997 he was the Principal Advisor to USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service for implementing the 1996 Farm Bill and served again with NRCS in 2005. From 1985 to 1990 he was director of Indiana’s State Utility Forecasting Group. In 1999 he was the economic assessment team leader for the National Hypoxia Assessment of the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. He served in 2007 on the National Academies Committee on the Mississippi River and the Clean water Act and the National Research Council’s Committee on the Water Implications of Biofuels Production in the United States. He also serves on advisory boards to the Environmental Protection Agency. He has overseas experience with the Ford Foundation, primarily in Southeast Asia. Recently he has written on the rationale for U.S. agricultural policy, on integrating biomass energy into existing energy systems, and on the political economy of public goods.
Funding agencies for work as Principal Investigator or as Co-P.I. include the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Department of Energy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, State of Indiana, Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, and NGOs.
Associate Professor, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources
Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences
Associate Professor, Purdue Climate Change Research Center
Associate Professor, Agricultural & Biological Engineering
Ecosystem responses to climate change: How do species and ecosystem processes respond to changes in climate and in the atmosphere? How will ecosystem responses to global change feed back to affect the rate of climate change?
Invasive species: What makes species invasive? What makes ecosystems susceptible to invasion? How will global changes affect the success of invasive species? How can we improve our predictions of where invasive species will have major impacts in the future?
Biodiversity and ecosystem function: How does the composition of an ecological community affect ecosystem processes, and properties such as the susceptibility of the community to invasion?
Ecological impacts of biofuels: As we begin to grow bioenergy crops on larger portions of the landscape, what will be the consequences for other species, and for ecosystem services upon which we depend?
Community, ecosystem, and global ecology: General questions of ecology, typically relating to global environmental changes.
Department Head, Agricultural & Biological Engineering
Professor, Agricultural & Biological Engineering
Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering — Professor Engel’s research interests are Soil and Water Engineering with Interests in Water Quality, Drainage, Subirrigation, Surface Irrigation and Erosion Control. These application areas are supported with basic research in fields of GIS, expert systems and neural networks. He is listed in Who's Who Among University Educators and Who's Who in Science and Engineering; he was a NASA Summer Faculty Fellow in 1992 and 1993.
Research Professor, Chemical Engineering/Group Leader, Laboratory of Renewable Resources Engineering
Research Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering
Professional webpage: http://cobweb.ecn.purdue.edu/~lorre/16/people/Ho_CV_2004.shtml
Genetic engineering of yeasts for new industrial applications. The following are list of her patents in this area:
Professor, Biological Engineering
Graduate Chair, ABE
Dr. Irudayaraj's theme is multiplex mechanistic sensing and quantification of molecular markers, genetic material, and drugs in biological systems using SERS, nanomaterials, and single molecule studies. Dr. Irudayaraj's focus is to develop nanotools and single molecule methods relevant to elucidation of intracellular mechanisms and realtime diagnostics for early detection of diseases or prognosis. Single molecule methods as tools for understanding, asking, and answering fundamental biological questions, for example receptor oligomerization, cell surface kinetics, drug diffusion, are at the heart of our research. Single particle optical methods and nanofabrication for multiplex probing of single cell molecular markers, quantification of genetic variants, and dynamic chemical imaging of cellular events perk our interest.
The basis for Dr. Irudayaraj's work stems from a strong background and skills developed in the areas of biospectroscopy, biosensors, and numerical modeling. Dr. Irudayaraj is also a Co-Director of the Physiological Sensing Facility (PSF) and a member of the Biophysics Core at Bindley and has authored over 150 refereed publications.
Distinguished Professor, Agricultural & Biological Engineering
Director, Laboratory of Renewable Resources Engineering (LORRE)
Joint Appointment, Biomedical Engineering
Courtesy Appointment, Food Science
Professional webpage: http://cobweb.ecn.purdue.edu/~lorre/16/overview/index.shtml
Dr. Ladisch’s research addresses fundamental topics in bioprocess engineering as it applies to bioproducts, biorecovery, and bionanotechnology. The work that he carries out with teams of researchers consisting of colleagues, graduate students, and staff is multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional, and addresses properties of proteins and living organisms at surfaces, rapid prototyping of microfluidic biosensors, bioseparations, and transformation of renewable resources into bioproducts. His research has resulted in new industrial bioenergy processes, and systematic approaches and correlations for scaling-up laboratory chromatographic purification techniques to process-scale manufacturing systems. He is currently investigating the scale-down of bioseparations and the rapid prototyping of microfluidic biochips for the rapid detection of pathogenic microorganisms. There are numerous opportunities for graduate and advanced studies in LORRE.
Dr. Ladisch teaches bioseparations, bioprocess engineering and biotechnology at both the graduate and undergraduate level. His discovery and learning activities engage bioproducts, biopharmaceutical, and biotechnology industries on a national basis, as well as industries and stakeholders in the State of Indiana. He also currently serves as Chief Technology Officer at the cellulosic biofuels company Mascoma Corporation.
Dr. Ladisch has a broad background in bioscience and bioengineering, and has authored numerous journal papers, as well as a textbook in “Bioseparations Engineering: Principles, Practice and Economics” (Wiley, 2001). He previously chaired the National Research Council Committee on Bioprocess Engineering as well as the Committee on Opportunities in Biotechnology for Future Army Applications. Dr. Ladisch was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1999.
Professor, Biomedical Engineering
SVM Professor, Nanomedicine
Member of Birck Nanotechnology Center, Bindley Biosciences Center, Oncological Sciences Center, and Purdue Cancer Center
Professor, Food Sciences
Associate Director, Agricultural Research Program
Director, Center for Food Safety Engineering
Professional webpage: http://www.cfse.purdue.edu/members/detail/richard-linton/
Dr. Linton’s research includes the following: (i) The study of growth and inactivation of foodborne pathogens in different foods; (ii) Specific interest on studying the heat inactivation of Listeria monocytogenes under varying environmental conditions; (iii) Developing novel methods for non-thermal inactivation of pathogens in fresh fruit and vegetable products; (iv) Applied research efforts have been dedicated to developing food safety and quality programs as well as performing microbial assessments of food processing and food preparation environments.
Dr. Linton also is active in Purdue’s Extension program with specific focus upon: (i) Retail food safety training and retail food handler certification programs; (ii) HACCP education and training for the meat and poultry, seafood, and juice industries; (iii) GMP and sanitation training for the food industry; (iv) Better Process Control School for low acid and acidified foods.
Research Assistant Professor, Birck Nanotechnology Center
Nano/Microfluidic System: Number of recent technological advances in MEMS, semiconductor illuminators, optical sensors/detectors, integrated capacitive-chemical sensors, and sensitive cell markers such as immuno-quantum dot (Qdot) labels are being used to achieve a point of care, hand-held microfluidic systems such as flow cytometer. An example is a handheld blood analyzer that can quickly process a drop of whole, unfractionated human peripheral blood by real-time, on-chip separation of white erythrocytes, leukocytes, and thrombocytes, and further labeled optical/electrical analysis.
Implantable wireless microdevices: Implantable microsystems will reform the efficacy of our current treatment methods is global disease such as cancer and glaucoma. New generation of 3-D dosimeters that suits the proton beam therapy, an implantable micordevice for oxygen partial pressure and temperature monitoring, implantable wireless pressure sensors are focus of my research.Integrating a single implantable microdevice that reveals delivered dose, real time tumor location, interstitial pressure, temperature, and oxygen partial pressure all together with instant impact on radiation therapy is my primary dream.
Biomaterials: I am interested in biological application of biopolymers and specifically biodegradable polymers and hydrogels. As an example, a batch fabricated biodegradable plug-filter was developed to overcome the postoperative hypotony in non-valaved glaucoma drainage devices (GDD). Biodegradable polymers can be used for timely controlled drug delivery, while hydrogels provides intelligent actuation mechanism for drug release. Nanotechnology has brought a great opportunity in nanomedicine production, and I am focusing on encapsulating these nanomedicines into a microsystem that allows both spatial and temporal control of drug delivery to the tumors.
Forestry and Natural Resources
Dr. Richard “Rick” Meilan’s focus is upon using molecular tools to investigate the genetic mechanisms by which key aspects of tree growth and development are controlled. He is also attempting to domesticate and add value to various tree species by genetically engineering them to express genes that impart environmentally beneficial and commercially important traits. Active research projects include efforts to insert genes that control flowering, as a means of transgene confinement; insect (Emerald Ash Borer) resistance; herbicide tolerance; and lignin composition. He and his group are also trying to identify genes that regulate the transition from sapwood to heartwood, the formation of figured wood, and the initiation of lateral and adventitious roots.
Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering
Professor Morgan's research group is interested in engineering metabolic pathways towards increased production of chemicals as well as novel biologically active metabolites. They are combining molecular biology with mathematical modeling of metabolism that enables the rational design of modifications to existing pathways. The approaches they employ span scales from manipulating the molecular structure of enzymes to bioreactor design and operation strategies
Associate Professor, Agricultural & Biological Engineering/Lorr
Dr. Mosier's research addresses fundamental topics in bioprocessing and bionanotechnology with current projects in bio-processing and enzyme mimicking catalysts for transforming renewable resources to fuels and chemicals, bio-based batteries for electricity generation, and rapid-prototyping of microfluidic biosensors. There are opportunities for graduate and advanced studies in his research group.
He currently teaches Thermodynamics in Biological Systems I (ABE 201), a sophomore-level course on thermodynamics, heat and mass balances, and engineering analysis for biological systems. Dr. Mosier also team-teaches Process Engineering of Renewable Resources (ABE 580) with Dr. Michael Ladisch.
Professor, Department of Horticulture
Plant hormone transport and modification of plant architecture: Manipulation of plant form to enhance crop value and aesthetic quality of ornamentals is an important and costly aspect of horticultural production. Development of dwarf cultivars has played an important role in cereal and fruit production, structural stabilisation of higher yielding vegetable crops, and adaptation of native shrubs and flowers for ornamental use. Plant architecture is primarily determined by polar growth mechanisms established during embryogenesis and maintained by apical extension of roots and shoots in post-embryonic plants. My lab investigates the cellular mechanisms that regulate auxin transport in dicots (Arabidopsis, tomato, cucurbits) and monocots (rice, maize, sorghum). This work has included studies of the relationship between proton extrusion and auxin movement, long distance auxin transport and root, shoot, and leaf architecture, the role of auxin movement in tropic responses and nutrient acquisition responses, and studies of the fate of auxin at the termination of signalling events. The research in the lab makes extensive use of protein biochemistry techniques, mass spectral analyses, microelectrode/ microsensor assays, and laser scanning confocal microscopy using simultaneous fluorescence imaging of small molecules and fluorescent proteins in live cells.
ATP binding cassette (ABC) transporter function: My lab has played a major role in identifying and characterizing the P-glycoprotein ABCB transport proteins and clarifying their interactions with the primary auxin transport protein family, the PINs. Currently, our efforts are focused on the structural features of plant ABCB transporters that confer the relative substrate specificity seen in these proteins when compared to mammalian orthologs. We are also examining the structural basis of the substrate-activated ABC transport, determining which of the other 18 ABCB transporters mobilise auxin, and evaluating which groupings of ABCB proteins may have diverged between dicots and monocots. Other studies focus on comparative analyses of plant and human ABC transporters involved in drug multidrug resistance.
Impacts of Herbicide Use: Studies in the lab focus on auxinic herbicide use and effects of these herbicides on pathogen susceptibility, mineral nutrition, and human health.
Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry
College of Agriculture
Role of chromatin remodeling factors in determination of cell identity: Genetic, genomic, and biochemical characterization of chromatin remodeling factors that constrain developmental potential in plants using Arabidopsis thaliana as a model system.
Role of chromatin remodeling factors as tumor suppressors: Establishment of zebrafish as a model system to characterize the role of an ATP-dependent chromatin factor in tumor suppression with an emphasis on neuroblastoma.
Genetic imprinting in plants: Characterizing the role of chromatin remodeling machinery in restricting parental gene expression in the endosperm of developing seeds.
Crosstalk between hormone signal transduction and epigenetic modifications: Exploring role of gibberellin response pathway in PcG-mediated repression in plants.
Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering
Professional webpage: https://engineering.purdue.edu/Engr/People/ptProfile?resource_id=22313
Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences
Smooth muscle physiology: At the interface between evolution and medicine, my lab investigates the mechanisms that regulate vascular response to hypoxia. A contractile response to hypoxia was thought to be unique to mammalian pulmonary vascular muscle until we discovered that the dorsal blood vessels of the lamprey and hagfish also respond to hypoxia with a strong and calcium-dependent vasoconstriction. Most recently we found that several invertebrates found in oxygen poor but organic rich sediments also respond to hypoxia by shifting the distribution of their vascular perfusion. My lab attempts to understand how vascular function has enabled such animals to survive and function in environments with oxygen extremes.
Investigating Students Scientific Reasoning about Biological Experiments: We are validating test items and a Participant Perception Inventory (PPI) to measure student perception of knowledge (cognitive dimension), experience (behavioral dimension), and confidence (affective dimension) about experimental and quantitative aspects of biological research. (NSF 0837229 and Research Coordination Network - Undergraduate Biology Education (RCN-UBE) project #0840911 and HHMI: Deviating from the Standard: Integrating Statistical Analysis and Experimental Design into Life Science Education - in collaboration with faculty in Biology, Agriculture, and Biomedical Engineering)
Bio-HUB and Diagnostic Questions: Problematic patterns in students' thinking are being diagnosed with concept assessments. We participate as evaluators for several projects associated with the Bio-HUB, a shared Concept Inventory Hub for Concept Inventory developers, researchers, and users.
Research Plant Physiologist
Adjunct Associate Professor
Professional webpage: https://ag.purdue.edu/fnr/Pages/Profile.aspx?strAlias=ppijut&intDirDeptID=15
Broad interests in plant cell, tissue, and organ culture for tree improvement and production. Applied and fundamental research directed toward germplasm improvement to increase resistance or tolerance to biotic or abiotic stressors. Emphasis on the physiological, anatomical, and biochemical bases for defense mechanisms to pathogen infection. Development of protocols for in vitro selection, somatic embryogenesis, micropropagation, genetic transformation, clonal propagation, and induction of early flowering in forest tree species, with subsequent acclimatization of plant material to greenhouse and field environments. Current species of interest are black walnut, northern red oak, black cherry, butternut, white oak, and green, white, black, and pumpkin ash.
Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering
Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Professional webpage: https://engineering.purdue.edu/BME/Research/Labs/Rundell/
Professor Rundell's research interests apply systems and control theory to control cellular and physiological processes for developing and designing diagnostics and therapeutics. Her specific research interests include:
She has co-authored more than 20 peer reviewed articles, is a Senior Member in IEEE, serves as a Section Editor for the Encyclopedia of Systems Biology, and recently received the NSF CAREER Award.
Research Assistant Professor, Agricultural & Biological Engineering
Professional webpage: http://www.cfse.purdue.edu/members/detail/miroslav-sedlak/
Dr. Sedlak's research is focused on improving the ability of Saccharomyces cerevisiae to efficiently and economically produce bio-fuels and chemicals from renewable resources. He uses systems biology (expression profiling, proteomics, metabolomics etc.) and metabolic engineering approaches to achieve this goal. Specific examples of research in this area include metabolic engineering for novel or more efficient utilization of sugars from lignocellulosic materials, characterization of inhibitory effect of compound present in lignocellulosic hydrolysates on glucose/xylose co-fermentation as well as improving HXT transporters for xylose transport in yeast. Another current research project is on establishing a metabolic pathway for the conversion of arabinose to ethanol by S. cerevisiae. He is also interested in characterization of effect of environmental stresses on yeast physiology.
Professor, College of Agriculture
Molecular biology of plant-insect interactions: Insect induced plant gall formation. Insect avirulence gene discovery and characterization. Resistance gene discovery.
Hessian fly genome assembly and annotation: Effector gene family discovery and annotation. Characterization of sex-determining inversions. Gall midge comparative genomics.
Ecological and population genetics: Development of diagnostic markers for insect virulence to plant resistance genes. Measuring the fitness of insect virulence and avirulence in the presence and absence of plant resistance genes.
James and Lois Ackerman Professor of Agricultural Economics
Professional Webpage: https://engineering.purdue.edu/Engr/People/ptProfile?resource_id=7603
Professor Tyner's research interests are in the area of energy, agricultural, and natural resource policy analysis and structural and sectoral adjustment in developing economies. His work in energy economics has encompassed oil, natural gas, coal, oil shale, biomass, ethanol from agricultural sources, and solar energy. Most of his recent work has focused on economic and policy analysis for biofuels.
Most of his recent international work has focused on agricultural trade and policy issues in developing economies, particularly in the Middle East, North Africa, and West Africa. Professor Tyner has extensive overseas experience in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Central and Eastern Europe including short term assignments in seventeen countries. He also has long term overseas experience in India and Morocco. He is fluent in French.
Distinguished Professor, Foods and Nutrition
Head, Foods and Nutrition
Director, NIH Botanical Center for Age Related Diseases
Deputy Director, Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Professional webpage: http://www.cfs.purdue.edu/fn/news_events/ConnieWeaver.shtml
Dr. Weaver's laboratory studies calcium metabolism during lifestages of high demand, i.e., building peak bone mass during adolescence and bone loss in postmenopausal women. Calcium needs in adolescence is investigated with metabolic research camps (Camp Calcium). Calcium balance is determined as well as calcium kinetics using stable isotopic tracers, total body calcium and bone mineral density using dual energy x-ray absorptiometry, and biochemical markers of bone turnover. Their goal is to determine the influence of diet, gender, actual calcium retention and maximize development of peak bone mass. They are also studying the relationship between dairy and calcium intake and body fat maintenance in this population.
Dietary alternatives to estrogen replacement therapy for postmenopausal women are also being investigated in our laboratory. by a novel approach of Ca-41 technology. Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by decreased skeletal mass and increased susceptibility to bone fractures. The health care costs related to hip fracture alone exceed $17 billion per year in the U.S. Two strategies to prevent osteoporosis includes increasing bone mass early in life and to prevent loss later. They hope to be able to give dietary and exercise advice to help women prevent osteoporosis later in life.
The chemical form of minerals in foods and bioavailability of minerals from foods has been a theme of study in our laboratory for many years. Dr. Weaver uses isotopic tracer techniques to intrinsically label foods or salts of interest in order to study factors which enhance or inhibit absorption and their biological fate in animal models or humans. They have screened many food sources for calcium bioavailability. They have developed rat models for studying calcium kinetics and bone strength. Evaluating enhancers and inhibitors of calcium absorption by active and passive routes is our focus of one laboratory.