Principal Investigator / Chief Fundraiser
Daniel R. Bond
Daniel originally began thinking about anaerobic bacteria while hanging out in barns, pulling lambs out of sheep. He later received a M.S. from The Ohio State University for exploits involving anaerobic rumen fungi, and a Ph.D. from Cornell where he studied the physiology of rumen bacteria. Daniel built devices that fooled metal-reducing bacteria into growing on electrodes as part of his postdoc work at the University of Massachusetts, and moved to Saint Paul to join the BioTechnology Institute and Department of Microbiology in 2004. He is currently interested in whatever conversation is happening in the lab, so long as it involves the Nernst equation, geochemistry, thermodynamics, proton motive force, or at the very least, a cow. In the future, he plans to order a nice sour beer, pick up a napkin, and draw you a picture of how Geobacter electron transport works that blows your mind.
Jon received his Ph.D. in Microbiology from Arizona State University in 2013, where he developed enrichment techniques for anoxygenic photosynthetic bacteria using microbial electrochemical cells. Since joining the Bond Lab, Jon has somehow earned the reputation of “bioinformatics wizard,” despite this being predicated mostly on a combination of profanity, blind luck, and brute force. When he’s not performing quality control for Caleb, assembling another closed microbial genome, or bugging fellow lab members to write bios for the website, you can find Jon hunting for new metal reducers a half mile underground at the Soudan Iron Mine. Jon integrates genomics and bioinformatics with microbial electrochemistry to study electron transfer in both mixed and pure cultures enriched on electrodes, including a novel metal-reducing Desulfuromonas isolate recovered from anoxic brine at Soudan. Current research is focused on shotgun metagenomics of Soudan Mine microbial communities and strategies for improving metagenomic assembly and binning using long reads.
As a student at Oberlin College, Rebecca’s mind was opened to the wonderful diversity of the microbial world. Determined to learn more, Rebecca enrolled in the microbiology graduate program at Indiana University – Bloomington and became fascinated by how bacteria regulate gene expression in response to events that occur outside their cell membranes. Her research in Dr. Dan Kearns’ laboratory focused on understanding the regulation of genes that build the flagellum, a protein nanomachine that assembles in the context of the cell membrane and can be rotated like a propeller for locomotion. Rebecca studied the regulation of an anti-sigma factor that morphogenetically couples flagellar gene expression with the assembly state of the flagellum using “toothpicks and logic” forward genetics and molecular biology. Rebecca’s research challenged a longstanding model in the field and earned her a PhD in June 2015. Now a postdoc in the Bond Lab, Rebecca is interested in how bacteria such as Geobacter, that anaerobically respire insoluble electron acceptors, sense and respond to their environment. Currently, Rebecca is developing a co-culture system in order to study how electrons get into and out of cells. When she isn’t working in the laboratory, Rebecca enjoys backpacking, rockhounding, and playing with her two cats.
Chi Ho Chan
Chi studied at the University of Wisconsin where he worked on the anaerobic cobamides biosynthesis pathways and acetate metabolism in Salmonella enterica and other bacteria. At Wisconsin, Chi was captivated by a seminar given by Daniel Bond, an invited Distinguished Lectures speaker to the Department of Bacteriology, where he presented what was known on the physiology of a conductive biofilm in Geobacter sulfurreducens. Chi eventually joined the Bond Lab to work on furthering the understanding of how Geobacter and related organisms make a living. Alongside some talented graduate students, he is set to improve on the existing genetic system in G. sulfurreducens to tease apart the pathways for extracellular respiration. He is also keen on the characterization of some of these enzymes through collaborations with fellow lab members. Chi is also the de facto personnel department and the gatekeeper for undergraduate research in the Bond Lab.
Fernanda received her BA from Western Michigan University where she studied amino acid biosynthesis in rhizobia. She also worked for a year on bioprocess development for drug manufacturing in industry before coming to the U.
Her mission in the Bond Lab is to identify the proteins involved in electron transfer across the outer membrane of G. sulfurreducens to different substrates. Apart from sneaking quick trips to Mexico whenever lab work permits, she enjoys tiring out her dog and daughter at the dog park.
Zac received his BS from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, TX. After interning in different labs themed around environmental toxicology as an undergraduate, Zac wanted to use a more robust model organism and preferred developing new technologies to performing risk assessment.
His project in the Bond lab involves host-transferring genes from Geobacter sulfurreducens into Shewanella oneidensis to better resolve the pathways from the quinone pool to extracellular electron acceptors. Zac enjoys riding his Triumph in the all too short summer.
Komal graduated from National Institute of Technology Raipur, India in Biotechnology engineering where she studied hydrogen production in bioelectrochemical cells and microbial fuel cells for wastewater treatment. In the Bond Lab, she is working to improve the coulombic yields of Shewanella oneidensis in bioelectochemical cells by modifying the design and electrodes.
She is also trying to figure out why engineered S. oneidensis strains hate eating glycerol, especially on electrodes. Komal wishes if teleportation was real at present she could go home every day. When she is not thinking about it and not working in lab, she takes joy in photography and trying her culinary skills in making desserts.