|Karen McDonald, PhD
Professor, Dept. Chemical Engineering
3008 Bainer Hall
Office Phone: (530) 752-8314
Faculty Director, UC Davis ADVANCE Program
1104 Surge III
Office Phone: (530) 752-6885
|Somen Nandi, PhD
Adjunct Professor, Dept. Chemical Engineering
3112 Bainer Hall
Office Phone: (916) 838-0918
Managing Director, Global Healthshare® Initiative
318A Life Sciences Building
Office Phone: (530) 752-3613
|Kalimuthu Karuppanan, PhD
Kalimuthu Karuppanan completed his PhD in Biotechnology in 2013 from Department of Molecular Microbiology, School of Biotechnology, Madurai Kamaraj University, India. Kalimuthu’s efforts have focused on establishing tobacco plant cell culture, optimization of co-cultivation conditions and bioreactor strategies to produce monoclonal antibodies against Ebola, as well as developing and optimization of downstream processing for recombinant protein purification and characterization. In addition, he is collaboratively working with other therapeutic proteins (Anthrax decoy protein and Alpha-1 antitrypsin) transiently produced from tobacco plants. As a postdoctoral researcher he is supervising the current research projects and mentoring students in McDonald research group.
|Trenton (Trent) Smith
Trenton (Trent) Smith, Ph.D. received his doctorate from the University of South Carolina in 2001, where he had worked in the laboratory of Dr. Vicki Vance studying the suppression of RNA interference by viral proteins in plants. Dr. Smith's current primary appointment is as Associate Professor of Biology at Simpson University, in Redding, CA. He joined in collaboration with Dr. McDonald's lab group during his sabbatical in spring 2018, where his main aim is to optimize a system for expressing cellulase enzymes in potatoes as part of the NASA/CUBES work.
Pauline received a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in pharmaceutical sciences from Pharmacy faculty Lyon, France. She started in the McDonald Laboratory in October 2017, working on the optimization of the expression, production and purification of Elafin-Fc fusion protein in Nicotiana benthamiana.
Jasmine received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering with a biochemical emphasis from USC in 2013. Her graduate research focuses on both upstream and downstream process development for a transgenic rice cell suspension culture for the production of butyrylcholinesterase, a therapeutic enzyme for the treatment of organophosphorus nerve agent exposure.
|Kantharakorn (Korn) Macharoen
Korn received a bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology and a master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Chulalongkorn University, Thailand. He was awarded a Royal Thai Government Scholarship to study a doctoral degree in Chemical Engineering emphasizing in biomanufacturing of therapeutic proteins. His graduate research focuses on improving the production of recombinant butyrylcholinesterase (rBChE) in transgenic rice cell suspension cultures using bioreactor process optimization and scaling-up the production of rBChE to a pilot scale.
Matt received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He previously worked as a process engineer for Sanofi Genzyme. His current research focuses on the technoeconomic analysis of a plant-made antimicrobial for food safety and on developing a novel biologically-derived bioseparations platform.
David earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering with a biomolecular focus from UCLA in 2012. He then worked as a validation engineer for PSC Biotech in Los Angeles before joining the McDonald group, completing projects at Baxter Bioscience and Neutrogena Corporation. His current research is in optimizing the expression and purification of a human therapeutic protein, Alpha-1-antitrypsin, using a transient expression system in Nicotiana benthamiana.
Sara received her B.S.E. in Chemical and Biological Engineering from Princeton University. Prior to joining the McDonald lab, Sara worked at Merck & Co., performing viral vaccine process development research. In her graduate research, she is developing a platform for rapid production of novel therapeutic proteins using transient expression in Nicotiana benthamiana plant cell suspension cultures.
|Yongao (Mary) Xiong
Mary joins McDonald group as a Ph.D student after finishing her undergraduate study in chemical engineering at University of Washington. Her current research is focused on transient expression of a Fc-fusion bioscavenger (CMG2-Fc) in Nicotiana Benthamiana whole-plant through agrobacterium vacuum infiltration, and the effects of N-glycosylation on protein properties. She also studies protein-protein interaction utilizing real-time label-free techniques (Surface plasmon resonance and biolayer interferometry) to quantitatively characterize bioscavenger’s binding kinetics and affinity against its target.
Ben is a chemical engineering undergraduate student at UC Davis. He started in the lab in September 2016 and his undergraduate research focuses on the purification process of butyrylcholinesterase from rice cell lines.
|Vuthithorn (In) Chinthammit
In is a Biotechnology undergraduate student at UC Davis. He was awarded the Best Senior Design Award in Biochemical Engineering Design in June 2017. He interned at DuPont Industrial Biosciences in Palo Alto as an Intern Researcher before joining the McDonald group. He started working in the lab in September 2017 and currently studying the effect of pH on cell-associated rBChE production in shake flasks.
Jesse is a Chemical Engineering undergraduate student at UC Davis. He started in the lab in July 2017 and is currently researching drug purification through the functionalization of viral coat proteins to bind drugs for simpler and more efficient isolation under the mentorship of Matt McNulty.
Jacqueline is a Biochemical Engineering undergraduate student at UC Davis. She started working in the lab in September 2017 and is researching using Nicotiana benthamiana in plant cell cultures to produce proteins.
|Kostyantyn (Stan) Luferov
Stan is a Pharmaceutical Chemistry & Biochemical Engineering undergraduate student at UC Davis. He started in the lab in October 2017 and is currently working with Vuthithorn Chinthammit on Techno-Economic Analysis for development of IBK animal vaccine. He is also working on alternatives to cryopreservation of plant cells while keep it viable using rice calli.
Former Lab Members
|Name||Former Position||Thesis/Dissertation Title||Current Position|
|Lucas Arzola||Post-doctoral Scholar + Graduate Student (PhD)||Transient Expression of Recombinant Therapeutic Proteins and Vaccines Using Agroinfiltration in Nicotiana benthamiana||Director of Operations
Puerto Rico Science and Technology Trust
|Jose Antonio Rocha-Valadez||Post-doctoral Scholar||Bayer CropScience
West Sacramento, CA
|Remi Shih||Post-doctoral Scholar|
|Salem Alkanaimish||Graduate Student (PhD)||Bioprocess Engineering Approaches for Production and Purification of Recombinant Plant Made Human Butyrylcholinesterase||Assistant Professor
University of Kuwait
|Elizabeth Anthony||Graduate Student (PhD)||Evaluation of Agrobacteria-mediated Transient Expression of Cell Wall Degrading Enzymes as a Biological Pretreatment Process for Cellulosic Biofuel Production||Director of Grid Policy
Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies
|Shivaun Archer||Graduate Student (PhD)||Effect of Light on the Production of Sulfolipids from Cyanobacteria||John and Jent Swanson Senior Lecturer
|Nishant Bhatia||Graduate Student (PhD)||Ribosome Inactivating Proteins from Trichosanthes kirilowii Cultures||Director, Technology and Business Development
Advent Engineering Services
|Ching I. Chen||Graduate Student (PhD)||Analysis and Modelling for the Oscillatory Behavior of Saccharomyces Cerevisia in a Continuous Bioreactor System||Director, Process Development and Manufacturing
San Diego, CA
|Michael Cooney||Graduate Student (PhD)||Multivariable, Dynamic Model Development for Pure Continuous Cultures of E. Coli and C. Utilis||Associate Researcher
Hawaii Natural Energy Institute
University of Hawaii at Manoa
|Seher Dagdeviren||Graduate Student (MS)||Sulfolipid Production from the Cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 in Fed-Batch Photobioreactors||QC Supervisor
|Corey Dodge||Graduate Student (PhD)||Production of Recombinant Human Gelatin in Transgenic Rice Cell Cultures||Senior Staff Scientist
San Diego, CA
|Sifti Duhra-Gill||Graduate Student (MS)||Transient Expression of an Anthrax Decoy Fusion Protein in Nicotiana benthamiana||TBD|
|Iftikar Gohar||Graduate Student (MS)||Numerical Simulation of Natural Convection in Liquid Semiconductor Metals in Modified Bridgman Furnace||Van den Bergh Foods
|Annette Hagewiesche||Graduate Student (MS)||Plan II||Senior Engineer
South San Francisco, CA
|Bryce Hashimoto||Graduate Student (MS)||Development of a Transgenic Rice Cell Line for Production of Butyrylcholinesterase: A Protective Bioscavenger against Sarin||Sandia National Laboratories
Kansas City, MO
|Ting-Kuo Huang||Graduate Student (PhD)||Development of Plant Cell Suspension Cultures as a Bioproduction Platform of Recombinant Human Therapeutic Proteins||Senior Engineer
South San Francisco
|SangKyu Jung||Graduate Student (PhD)||Agrobacterium-Mediated Transient Expression of Plant Cell Wall Degrading Enzymes in Detached Sunflower Leaves||Assistant Professor, Biochemical Engineering
|Nathaniel Kingsbury||Graduate Student (PhD)||Selective Recovery from the Interstitial Spaces of Nicotiana species||Senior Engineer, Late Stage Development
Santa Monica, CA
|Yen Ko||Graduate Student (MS)||Cyanobacteria Photoproduction in a Stirred Reactor||Unknown|
|Rajesh Krishnan||Graduate Student (PhD)||The Expression, Localization and Characterization of Recombinant Trichosanthin, a Type I Ribosome-Inactivating Protein, in Transgenic Tobacco||Director, Biologics Process Development
|Ingrid Leth||Graduate Student (PhD)||Production of Agrobacterium tumefaciens for Large-Scale Transient Expression of Recombinant Proteins in Plants||Scientist I
|Ben Lindenmuth||Graduate Student (PhD)||In Planta Expression of Heterologous Cell Wall-Degrading Enzymes||Drug Substance Tech Lead
|Michael Lucas||Graduate Student (MS)||Production Manager
|Christine Owlett||Graduate Student (MS)||Therapeutics from Plant Cell Suspension Cultures||Deceased|
|Sinyoung Park||Graduate Student (PhD)||Mammalian Cell Respiration and O2 /CO 2 Transfer in High-density Perfusion Culture with Microsparge Oxygenation and On-line Mass Spectrometry||Clinical Research Coordinator
|Kirti Patel||Graduate Student (MS)||Plan II||President and CEO
Executive Board Director
|Michael Plesha||Graduate Student (PhD)||Development of a Viral Amplicon-Based Process for Production of Biopharmaceuticals in Plant Tissues||Principal Scientist, Pilot Plant Lead
|Kittipong Rattanaporn||Graduate Student (PhD)||Quantitative RNA Analysis and Roles of Viral RNA Silencing Suppressors in Transient Therapeutic Protein Production in Plant Tissues using a Viral Amplicon-Based System||Associate Dean for International Relations
Lecturer, Department of Biotechnology
Faculty of Agro-Industry
|Melody (Trexler) Schmidt||Graduate Student (PhD)||A Cyclical Semi-Continuous Process for Production of Heterologous Proteins in Metabolically Regulated Plant Cell Suspension Cultures||Senior Scientist, Recovery Sciences
South San Francisco, CA
|Masaru Shiratori||Graduate Student (PhD)||Studies of a TMV-Based Expression Vector in Plant Cell Cultures||Senior Engineer
South San Francisco, CA
|John Thorup||Graduate Student (MS)||Purification and Identification of Ribosome Inactivating Proteins from Plant Cell Cultures of Trichosanthes Kirilowii||Senior Manager, Process Development
Thousand Oaks, CA
|Tiffany Tu||Graduate Student (MS)||Scale-up Simulation of Cellulase Enzymes Production for Biofuel Application: Fungal, Transgenic, and Transient Production of Cellulase Enzymes||Engineer
|James Wong||Graduate Student (PhD)||Classification of Process Trends Based on Fuzzified Symbolic Representation and Hidden Markov Models||Senior Software Developer
San Leandro, CA
|Qing Xie||Graduate Student (MS)||Recombinant Alpha-1-Antitrypsin Production in Transgenic Tobacco Cells||Biocatalytic
South San Francisco, CA
|Greg Young||Graduate Student (PhD)||Thermal and Stress Analysis of Single Crystal Growth in a Horizontal Bridgman Furnace||Emeritus Professor and Department Chair, Chemical Engineering Department
San Jose State University
San Jose, CA
|Liz Zapalac||Graduate Student (MS)||Purification of Alpha-1-Antitrypsin using a Three-Step Chromatography Process - Factors Effecting Dynamic Binding Capacity, Production Rate and Costs||Senior Plant Engineer
|Alexandra Ramirez Celis||Visiting Scholar|
|Oscar A. Ortega-Rivera||Visiting Scholar|
Former undergraduate researchers:
Karen has supervised the following students in undergraduate research projects (ECH199, PUFF program, NSF REU, MORE program, McNair Scholars program, NSF LURE, NSF CREATE-REU, UCD GREAT etc.)
An asterisk (*) indicates that the student went on to graduate school
Mark Johnson*, Darrell Lewis-Sandy, Sara Stokes, Monica Gomes, Richard Cheung, Caroline Crispino, Tuyen Do, Yvette Mangaladin, Anh Nguyen, Mondana Panymanian, Eunice Tan*, Ruth Chan (MORE), Arlene Adela, James Fred Johnson*, Michelle Bishop*, Rachael Balog, Dave Reichmuth*, Casey Bunker*, Cynthia Buenviaje*, Michael Costello, Nicole Dennis, Richard St. John*, Tracy Horsfield, Yea-Lian Huang, Linda Leong, Khan Nguyen, Katrina Meehan, David Mills*, Phuong Anh Nguyen, Bill Ristenpart* (PUFF), James Corpuz, Chris Humphrey, Michael Stoner*, Devin Eselius, Danielle Coutts, Shaelyn Hurst (McNair Scholar), Ruth Chan, Christine Owlett*, Shane Hall, Annie Chou (MORE), Megumi Noguchi, Tammy Adamson (LURE), Phillip Tuet, Jolie Wu, Mark Sanford, Andrew Tung, Diemchi Nguyen, Jennifer Mikovich, Jeff Luk*, Ming-Wai Chen, Debby Kolbeck, Sandra VanDusen, Kali Campbell, Jennifer Chen, Lo-Ming (Alison) Hong*, David Trombly*, Javier Lacayo, Nathan Parker, Drew Erlich, (Vista) Li, Tammy Chan, Fareed Rudy Mohammed, Quyen Truong*, Kaushal Parikh*, Stacey Cox*, Michael Cheung, Marisa Harano* (MORE), Yanto Yanto*, Javier Cardenas*, Sinath Prom*, Randy Cross, Yevgeniya Mulina, Jeremy Lee*, Joel Thomas*, Jeffrey Upton, Marissa Roush, Yuchen Gu, Christian Millsop, Helena Keller* (Michigan Technological University) Li Qian (Grace) Bai, Allen Reed, Dane Emmerson, Debika Mitra* (CREATE-REU, Georgia Tech), Anh (Annie) Tran, Junxing (Cici) Chen, Huang (Sunny) Yan, Anna Iris Correa Muler (CREATE-REU, University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez), Derrick Hicks* (Integrated Studies Honors Thesis, PUF award), Alexandra Moskaluk * (BioChE Honors Thesis, UC Davis Veterinary School), Thuy Thanh Le*, Jacob Partlow, George Correra, Jerrine Wong, Kaylee Thatcher, Jack Morel, Darwin Constantino, Vincent Reyes, Katie Mains (BioChE Honors), Mathew (Peter) Kedzierski (BioChE Honors), Anthony Tsai * (UC Irvine), Ben Chang (ChE Honors), Zachary Kyser, Aaron Hwong, Kevin Tom (BioChE Honors), Jessie Delzio (BioChE Honors), Jacqueline Kelly, Vuthithorn Chinthammit.