|Karen McDonald, PhD
Professor, Dept. Chemical Engineering
3008 Bainer Hall
Office Phone: (530) 752-8314
|Somen Nandi, PhD
Adjunct Professor, Dept. Chemical Engineering
1035 Academic Surge
Office Phone: (916) 838-0918
Managing Director, Global Healthshare® Initiative
318A Life Sciences Building
Office Phone: (530) 752-3613
Imran Khan received PhD fellowship from German Academic and Exchange Service (DAAD) for his doctoral study at Institute for Molecular Biotechnology, RWTH Aachen University, Germany. He also served Vienna Institute for Biotechnology, Vienna, Austria, as researcher where he investigated expression and targeting of recombinant proteins in plant tissues. He also received research funding as PI and supervised PhD and master students working as Assistant Professor at Center for Interdisciplinary Research, Islamabad, Pakistan. He completed his postdoctoral study from University of Bonn, Germany that was also funded by DAAD, Germany. In 2019, Imran received Penn Biomedical Postdoctoral fellowship for postdoctoral study at School of Dental Medicine at University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA, where he worked on oral delivery of plant made biopharmaceuticals using Chloroplast production system, in collaboration with Takeda, Japan. He joined Dr. McDonald/Nandi lab in 2021 at University of California, Davis, USA, as Project Scientist. His current research focus on development of platform technologies for bio-manufacturing on Mars to provide food and pharmaceuticals for colonists, funded by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), USA.
|Seongwon (Steve) Jung
Seongwon Jung is a Junior Specialist. He earned B.S. in Chemical Engineering at UC Davis and started working in the McDonald-Nandi lab in April 2019. He previously worked as a process engineer for optimizing the production of recombinant butyrylcholinesterase(rBChE) in transgenic rice cell suspension cultures under Kantharakorn Macharoen. He is currently working on the COVID project to produce ACE2-Fc fusion proteins which are promising targets for a COVID-19 therapeutic.
|Katherine (Katie) Haddad
Katie joins as a PhD student in the biomedical engineering graduate group after earning her B.S. in biomedical engineering from the University of Oklahoma. Her graduate work focuses on developing a platform for rapid production of plant-made biologics.
Eric is a master’s degree student and began working in the McDonald/Nandi lab in January 2019. He is studying the use of Nicotiana benthamiana plant cell suspension cultures for the transient expression of useful proteins. Eric received a B.S.E. in chemical engineering from the University of Iowa.
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.
Patrick is a first-year PhD student in the Chemical Engineering Department at UC Davis. He earned his B.S. in Chemical Engineering at UC Berkeley. His current research in the McDonald-Nandi lab is developing techno-economic analyses.
Brandon is a first-year masters student in the Chemical Engineering Department at UC Davis. He earned his B.S in Chemical Engineering at UC Irvine and previously worked as a packaging engineer/label process lead at Johnson & Johnson. His current research in the McDonald-Nandi Lab focuses on immobilizing transgenic rice cells in a hydrogel for scalable production of recombinant butyrylcholinesterase.
Justin is a PhD student in the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of California, Davis. He earned his B.S. in Chemical Engineering at Northeastern University and worked as a bioprocess development engineer for Synlogic before returning to school. His current research focuses on using plant cell suspension cultures to produce cell cultured meat.
Kevin earned a BS in Chemical Engineering with minors in Electrical Engineering and Mathematical Sciences from Michigan Technological University. He has a strong interdisciplinary background from his time working in a variety of industries. His PhD research involves the production of pharmaceuticals in transgenic plants within the scope of the NASA CUBES project.
Stephan Alfaro is an undergraduate student majoring in Biochemical Engineering. His current research is in the utilization of rice cells in cultured meat production.
I am an undergraduate majoring in chemical engineering. I will be working on the techno-economic analysis of chemical synthesis of resveratrol using Aspen Plus simulations.
David Wiley is an undergraduate student majoring in biochemical engineering. He joined the McDonald-Nandi lab over the summer of 2021. His current research focusses on technoeconomic analysis of the production of Resveratrol in yeast cell cultures.
Cinthya Diaz is an undergraduate student pursuing a major in biochemical engineering. She is currently researching the development of cultivated meat techno-economic analyses. Her work focuses primarily on media factors.
Wednesday is currently enrolled in UC Davis as a 3rd year undergraduate student. She is working towards getting her Bachelors of Science in Biochemical Engineering. Her current research focuses on optimizing the production of growth factors in a rice cell culture expression system. Wednesday started her position here, and became a member of our team, Fall 2021.
Jin Huang is an undergraduate majoring Plant Sciences and minoring nutrition and food. She will be working on producing plant-derived microcarriers for cultured meat production.
Wade Kiesow is an undergraduate student pursuing a major in Biochemical Engineering and a minor in Biological Sciences.
Andrew Ly is a third-year undergraduate student majoring in Biochemical Engineering at UC Davis. His current work in the McDonald-Nandi Lab involves the production of cultured meat through the use of plant cell cultures.
Zainab Choudhery is a senior undergraduate student at the University of California, Davis studying biomedical engineering. She has served as a student intern at the UCSF Betancur Lab over the past year and a half and has contributed to ongoing breast cancer research. She was also a part of the UCSF CHESA team this past summer as an intern in the Hypoxia Lab and an intern in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery working on a bone simulator for underserved countries. As an aspiring biomedical engineer, she hopes to create medical devices that will provide affordable and accessible care to the forever-evolving field of global medicine.
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
|Kalimuthu Karuppanan||Post-doctoral Scholar||Post-doctoral Scholar
Oxford University, UK
|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 Gill||Graduate Student (PhD)||Evaluation of Agrobacteria-mediated Transient Expression of Cell Wall Degrading Enzymes as a Biological Pretreatment Process for Cellulosic Biofuel Production||Electric Generation System Specialist at California Energy Commission, Sacramento, CA|
|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 in Microbiology)||Analysis and Modelling for the Oscillatory Behavior of Saccharomyces Cerevisia in a Continuous Bioreactor System||Currently an Independent Consultant to Biotech Industry
Formerly 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||Tenured Researcher
Hawaii Natural Energy Institute
University of Hawaii at Manoa
|Jasmine Corbin||Graduate Student (PhD)||Process Development for the Production of Recombinant Butyrylcholinesterase in Metabolically-Regulated, Transgenic Rice Cell Suspension Cultures||Scientist, Cell Culture Process Development
|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||Director, Upstream Process Development, Molecular Templates, Austin, TX|
|Sifti Duhra-Gill||Graduate Student (MS)||Transient Expression of an Anthrax Decoy Fusion Protein in Nicotiana benthamiana||Technician II, California Air Resources Board, Sacramento, CA|
|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
|Kirolos (Kiro) Kelada||Graduate Student (MS)||Techno-Economic Analysis and Probabilistic Risk Assessment of Intensely Sweet Protein Thaumatin Large-Scale Bioproduction||Process Technology Intern
E. & J. Gallo Winery
|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
|Kantharakorn (Korn) Macharoen||Graduate Student (PhD)||Process Intensification and Scale-up of Metabolically Regulated Rice Cell Culture Bioreactors for Biopharmaceutical Applications||Lecturer
|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
|David Silberstein||Graduate Student (PhD)||Process Development and Characterization of Plant-Made, Oxidation Resistant, Recombinant Alpha-1 Antitrypsin||Scientist I
BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc.
|Sara Sukenik||Graduate Student (PhD)||Transient Expression of an Anthrax Decoy Fusion Protein in Glycoengineered Plant Cell Suspension Cultures|
|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
|Yongao (Mary) Xiong||Graduate Student (PhD)||Process Development and Characterization of Plant Recombinant Fc-Fusion Therapeutics||Scientist I, Downstream Process Development
|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
|Rupak Goswami, PhD||Visiting Scholar|
|Hiroto Hirano||Visiting Scholar|
|Pauline Famy||Visiting Scholar|
|Oscar A. Ortega-Rivera||Visiting Scholar|
|Alexandra Ramirez Celis||Visiting Scholar|
|Trenton Smith||Visiting Scholar|
|Dylan Estrada||Undergraduate Student|
|Olivia Hart||Undergraduate Student|
|Anika Varma||Undergraduate Student|
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, Min Du, Joshua McMillan, Garrett Barton, Kostyantyn (Stan) Luferov,