Biotechnology & Bioengineering (BTBE) Faculty

Margaret E. Ackerman, Ph.D.

  • Associate Professor of Engineering, and Microbiology and Immunology
  • Thayer School of Engineering
  • Office: 119B Cummings Hall

  • Phone: 603-646-9922
  • The Ackerman laboratory conducts interdisciplinary research at the interface of biomedical and engineering sciences: developing high throughput tools to evaluate the antibody response in disease states ranging from infection to cancer in order to aid in therapeutic antibody and vaccine design and development, and to understand the protective mechanism of antibodies using approaches grounded in fundamental engineering principles utilizing protein evolution, molecular biology, and mathematical modeling.

Website | Email | PubMed Articles 1 & Articles 2 | Geisel Profile

Zi Chen, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Engineering, and Biological Sciences

Office: MacLean 302

Phone: 603-646-6475

Dr. Chen's research interests range from biomechanics and mechanobiology to solid mechanics and material science, covering such diverse topics as mechanics of morphogenesis in biological systems, cell biomechanics, fast motion of plants, mechanics of DNA structures, mechanical instabilities of materials, energy harvesting, stretchable electronics, biomimetic materials/devices, nanofabrication, and modeling of 2D materials.

Website | Email | PubMed Articles

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Tillman U. Gerngross, Ph.D.

Professor of Engineering, and Biological Sciences

Office: 128E Cummings Hall

Phone: 603-646-3161 

Protein engineering; glycoprotein engineering; high cell density fermentation technology; metabolic engineering; protein expression.

Website | Email | 

Faculty Profile

Gevorg Grigoryan, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Computer Science, and Biological Sciences

Office: Sudikoff 113

Phone: 603-646-3173

We are interested in understanding the design principles underlying natural protein function on a quantitative, structure-based level. We employ a mix of computational and experimental approaches to both understand functions of natural proteins and engineer proteins with novel functionality. 

Website | Email | PubMed Articles

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Karl E. Griswold, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Engineering, and Biological Sciences

Office: 128E Cummings Hall

Phone: 603-646-2127

The Griswold research group develops performance-enhanced biomolecules through the application of protein engineering technologies. Current projects are focused on biotherapeutic agents.

Website | Email | PubMed Articles

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Jane Hill, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Engineering and Microbiology and Immunology

Office: MacLean 305 

Phone: 646-8656

Our research focuses on rapid, non-invasive detection and the tracking of infectious respiratory diseases using patient breath. Diseases we focus on range from acute pneumonias, such as those caused by influenza or bacterial agents like Klebsiella pneumoniae and Staphylococcus aureus, to chronic respiratory infections, such as those caused by Mycobacteria tuberculosis and Pseudomonas aeruginosa-dominant polymicrobial infections in patients with cystic fibrosis. We combine molecular biological, analytical chemistry, and 'big data' biostatistics tools when asking our metabolism-focused questions in the flask, animal model, or human patient. As such, our team consists of combinations of molecular biologists, microbiologist, chemists, engineers, medical doctors, and chemometricians.

Website | Email | PubMed Articles

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Lee R. Lynd, D.E.

Paul E. / Joan H. Queneau Distinguished Professor in Environmental Engineering Design, and Professor of Biological Sciences

Office: 128D Cummings

Phone: 603-646-2231 

Professor Lynd is an expert on the production of energy from plant biomass and conducts leading research on microbial cellulose utilization. 

Website | Email | PubMed Articles

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Aaron McKenna, Ph.D.

Aaron McKenna, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Molecular and Systems Biology

Office:  Williamson Translational Building, Room 658

Phone:  603-650-1866

My lab is interested in how cells grow and divide to form complex structures, such as the transformation from the zygote to an adult human or from a transformed cell into a tumor mass. To study these processes, we develop technologies to trace pattern of cell divisions which recovers the lineage of each cell. This information can be combined with other measures of cell state such as single-cell transcriptomic data to develop a rich picture of how choices are made in development and how this process is dysregulated in diseases such as cancer.

Website | Email | PubMed Articles

Rahul Sarpeshkar, Ph.D.

Thomas E Kurtz Professor of Engineering

Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Molecular and Systems Biology, and Physiology

Office: 507A Vail

Phone: 603-646-6821

Synthetic analog and digital biological circuits in electri-cigenic and other microbes; Applications of synthetic and systems biology to immunology, infectious disease, and cancer; Precision measurement, electronic circuit modeling, and feedback control of living cells at the fundamental limits set by physics.

Email | 

Geisel Profile

Daniel Schultz, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Immunology

Office: 206 Vail

Phone: 603-650-1644

The Schultz lab develops quantitative approaches to study the emergence, operation and optimization of the gene networks that control cell responses in bacteria, with a focus on antibiotic resistance mechanisms. We combine mathematical modeling, bioinformatics, experimental evolution and microfluidics to analyze how the cell controls the expression of resistance genes during drug responses. We strive to guide innovation in clinical therapies by uncovering the selective pressures that shape the evolution of antibiotic resistance in natural environments.

Website | Email | PubMed Articles

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Benjamin D. Ross, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Immunology

Office:  504B Vail Building


The bacteria resident in the human gastrointestinal tract (the gut microbiota) potently influence diverse aspects of human health, including immunity. However, the forces that govern the composition of the gut microbiota are poorly understood. Our work focuses on a mechanistic, ecological, and evolutionary understanding of how interbacterial interactions between members of the dominant Gram-negative bacteria in the gut, the Bacteroidales, modulate the composition of the microbiota. The Bacteroidales utilize a contact-dependent toxin-delivery system known as the type VI secretion system (T6SS) to kill neighboring cells. We study the impact of this pathway on the microbiota and how bacteria adapt to defend against T6SS-mediated antagonism, using a combination of bacterial genetics, biochemistry, metagenomics, and germ-free mouse models. We are also interested in understanding why Bacteroidales abundance is depleted in individuals with cystic fibrosis, with the goal of improving health through restoration of these bacteria.

Email | PubMed Articles

Edward J. Usherwood, Ph.D.

Professor of Microbiology and Immunology

Office: 608E Borwell

Phone: 603-650-7730

Immunity to virus infections, T cell memory, the immune-virus interface in persistent virus infection.

Email | PubMed Articles

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