Paul Abraham

As Laboratory Research Manager of the Secure Ecosystem Engineering and Design (SEED) SFA, Paul is responsible for the overall scientific direction and management of SEED, including establishing scientific priorities, monitoring progress, allocating resources and workforce, and reporting to the US Department of Energy (DOE). In addition this this role, Paul serves as a staff scientist in the Biosciences Division at ORNL as a systems biologist with an expertise in biological mass spectrometry and will contribute to the functional characterization of plants and microbial communities.

Melissa Cregger

Staff Scientist in the Integrative Microbiome Group at ORNL. Melissa is an Ecosystem Ecologist and Scientific Co-Manager for the Secure Ecosystem Engineering Design SFA. Melissa is responsible for coordinating the technical aspects fo the SFA, setting milestones for project staff with Paul Abraham in delivering the expected products of the SFA. Melissa has expertise in ecosystem, community, and microbial ecology and will contribute to community and ecosystem tasks.

Josh Michener

Staff Scientist in the Synthetic Biology Group at ORNL. Josh is a microbial geneticist, biological engineer, and Scientific Co-Manager for the Secure Ecosystem Engineering Design SFA. Josh will assist Paul Abraham with coordinating the technical aspects of the project, setting milestones for project staff, and assist in delivering the expected products of the SFA. Josh will oversee the bacterial experiments and lead the engineering efforts for a better horizontal gene transfer delivery system.

Wellington Muchero

Senior Staff Scientist in the Plant Systems Biology Group at ORNL. Wellington has expertise in plant pathology, molecular genetics, and immune signaling with a focus on quantitative genetics and genomics of Populus. Wellington will oversee the development and integration of plant systems research throughout the project and will be responsible for functional genomics and transcriptomics to identify genetic features associated with mutualism, resistance, and resilience of plants and their associated microbial communities.

Xiaohan Yang

Senior Staff Scientist in the Synthetic Biology Group at ORNL. Xiaohan is a plant synthetic biologist who specializes in plant genetic engineering using genome editing and synthetic biology tools. He will oversee plant biosystems design throughout the project and will focus on in situ microbiome engineering, especially the impact of synthetic secreted regulatory proteins (SSRPs) and small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) on fungal gene expression. He will also be involved in biodesign strategies to detect targeted biological signals and counteract unintended genetic modifications.

David Kainer

Staff Scientist in the Computational and Predictive Biology Group at ORNL. He is a computational systems biologist who specializes in population- and community-level genomics. David will focus on analyses of multi-omics data generated across the project and the development and integration of computational modeling to relate genomic features with phenotypes and improve genome engineering approaches.

Dan Jacobson

Chief Scientist of Computational Systems Biology. Dan is a computational systems biologist who specializes in explainable-AI, combinatorial data analytics, and network theory as applied within and across all omics and environmental layers. Much of the work in his lab utilizes the supercomputing architectures at ORNL. Dan's team was the first to break the exascale barrier and holds the records for the top three fastest calculations done in human history (all of which were done for systems biology projects). Dan will be responsible for overseeing the development and integration of computational tools and methods.

Carrie Eckert

Carrie is a Staff Scientist and the new Synthetic Biology Group lead in the Biosciences Division at ORNL. For the SEED project, she is developing CRISPR-Cas tools in target microbial organisms affecting plant growth for genotype-phenotype discovery, as well as the development of more robust and accurate CRISPR guide RNA design tools using genome-wide libraries and machine learning with Dan Jacobson and David Kainer.

Dana Carper

Technical professional in the Bioanalytical Mass Spectrometry Group at ORNL. She is a project manager of the SFA.