Brian H. Davison
ORNL Corporate Fellow and Chief Scientist for Systems Biology and Biotechnology in the Biosciences Division at ORNL (ORNL profile). He serves as the Project Manager of the Scientific Focus Area Program Biofuels.
Barbara R. Evans
Staff Scientist in the Chemical Sciences Division at ORNL (ORNL profile). She serves as the deputy Project Manager of the Scientific Focus Area Program Biofuels in addition to her research on plant samples preparation and deuteration.
Hugh M. O'Neill
Senior Staff Scientist and Bio-Facilities Group Leader in the Neutron Scattering Division at ORNL (ORNL profile). He serves as the Task lead in Task 2 – Experimental Interrogation of the Scientific Focus Area Program Biofuels.
Jeremy A. Smith
Governor’s Chair and Professor at ORNL/University of Tennessee at Knoxville and Director of UT/ORNL Center for Molecular Biophysics (UTK profile). He focuses on the neutron scattering and computer simulation in the the Scientific Focus Area Program Plant Biofuels. He serves as the lead for Task 3 – Simulation and Modeling.
James G. Elkins
Staff Scientist in the Biosciences Division and Systems Genetics group at ORNL (ORNL profile). He leads the biodeuteration and preparation of lipids, liposomes, and microbial membranes and proteins from bacterial and yeast strains in the Scientific Focus Area Program Biofuels.
Sai Venkatesh Pingali
Neutron Scattering Scientist in the Neutron Scattering Division at ORNL (ORNL profile). He supervises the neutron scattering studies in the Scientific Focus Area Program Biofuels.
Distinguished R&D Staff in the Neutron Scattering Division at ORNL (ORNL profile). His research focuses on the biomembrane structure and analysis in the Scientific Focus Area Program Biofuels.
Jonathan D. Nickels
Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering at the University of Cincinnati (nickelslab). Jonathan D. Nickels received his PhD from the University of Texas at Austin for studies on surface modification of conducting polymers. Following his doctoral degree, Jonathan worked as a postdoctoral researcher at ORNL where he studied structure and dynamics in soft matter systems, including biomembranes, proteins and polymers using neutron scattering approaches. A recipient of a 2021 NSF CAREER award for work focused on neutron contrast strategies in crowded aqueous systems, Jonathan’s research efforts focus on understanding the physical chemical origins of macromolecular structure and material properties in soft matter such as proteins, membranes and molecular liquids . He leads on the lipid membrane preparation/analysis and fluorescence techniques in the Scientific Focus Area Program Biofuels.
Senior R&D Staff in the Biosciences Division at ORNL (ORNL profile). He focuses on biomass pretreatment, biomass/membrane characterization and solid state NMR techniques in the Scientific Focus Area Program Plant Biofuels.
Omar N. Demerdash
Liane Russell Fellow in the Biosciences Division at (ORNL profile). His research focuses on development of machine learning (ML) tools using sparse data in the Scientific Focus Area Program Plant Biofuels.
Erica Teixeira Prates
Computational Systems Biologist in the Biosciences Division at (ORNL profile). Her research focuses on membrane protein modeling in the Scientific Focus Area Program Plant Biofuels.
Micholas D. Smith
Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Micholas D. Smith received his graduate training in physics from Drexel University for his work on the impact of salts on the structural dynamics of the Aβ21-30 fragment associated with Alzheimer’s Disease. During his post-doctoral appointment at the UT/ORNL joint Center for Molecular Biophysics, his work has focused on using molecular simulations to provide insights into chemical and biophysical systems ranging from biological membranes, lignocellulosic biomass and proteins to zinc nanoparticles, organic solvents, and ionic liquids. His work continues to expand with efforts to apply machine-learning and molecular simulations to challenges in sustainable agriculture, drug discovery, and bioplastics development. He focuses on simulation of membrane and biomass structure and dynamics in Task 3 of the Scientific Focus Area Program Biofuels.
Shalini Jayaraman Rukmani
Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Biosciences Division at ORNL. She received her doctoral degree in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Florida, Gainesville. Her dissertation was focused on designing ionic-functionalized polymers for CO2 separation, and polyethylene glycol-peptide based hydrogels for drug delivery, through molecular simulations. Her research interests are molecular simulations of bio-derived and synthetic polymers for energy applications. She focuses on investigating molecular-level interactions during product release post-hydrolysis of cellulose in THF-H2O co-solvents using enhanced sampling molecular dynamics simulations in the Scientific Focus Area Program Plant Biofuels.
Post-doctoral Research Associate in the Center for Renewable Carbon at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture. She received her Ph.D. degree from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities for studies of lignin-based thermoplastics and enzymatic lignin degradation in the laboratory of Prof. Simo Sarkanen. During her postdoctoral appointments at University of Tennessee, she studied lignin-based polyurethanes and biomass characterization in the laboratory of Prof. Art Ragauskas. She has developed and formulated polymeric materials containing high lignin contents. Her research interests include bio-based material research and development, lignocellulosic biorefinery and valorization of technical lignin. Her work focuses on the integration of biomass pretreatment, characterization, and computational simulation in the Scientific Focus Area Program Plant Biofuels.
Graduate student in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Luna Liang received her bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering and Technology from Jiangnan University, China in 2016. She joined Prof. Arthur J. Ragauskas’s group in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at UT in the fall of 2016. Her research is focusing on biomass pretreatment and characterization in the Scientific Focus Area Program Plant Biofuels.
Vaidyanathan M. Sethuraman
Post-doctoral Research Associate at Center for Molecular Biophysics and Biosciences Division at ORNL. He completed his PhD in Chemical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin. Prior to joining ORNL, he was a postdoctoral research associate in the Chemical Engineering and Materials Sciences department at the University of Minnesota. The primary focus of his current postdoctoral research at ORNL is on understanding the structure-property relationships of plant cell walls and developing novel thermochemical treatments to produce plant-based biomass/biofuels. In addition, as a part of a collaboration between industries, University of Maine and ORNL, he is investigating the influence of various chemical modifications in cellulose-based biomaterials to utilize them as strength modifiers in polymer matrices.
Manju Senanayake Mudiyanselage
Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Biological Labeling and Scattering group in Neutron Scattering Division at ORNL (ORNL profile).