NCGR Research Faculty
Callum J. Bell, Ph.D., President
Dr. Bell’s main interest is in turning advances in genome sequencing into changes in clinical practice. He joined NCGR in 2008 to work on a carrier screening test to identify couples at risk of having children with severe Mendelian diseases. In plant genomics Dr. Bell leads NCGR’s contribution to the Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance, a $40 million USDA grant aimed at developing biofuels from forestry waste products. He is also the principal investigator of a project funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to sequence the transcriptomes of several hundred marine eukaryotic microbes.
Joann Mudge, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist
Dr. Mudge works on structural genomics, studying how genomes are organized and how genome structure controls gene expression and phenotypes. Her main areas of focus include plants (especially legumes) and plant pathogens. She was part of the team that sequenced the leguminous Medicago truncatula genome. Further, she is a co-PI on an NSF-funded Medicago truncatula Hapmap project which recently resequenced over 300 M. truncatula accessions and is currently generating de novo assemblies for 25 accessions. Dr. Mudge is also a co-PI on an NSF-funded Maize Recombination project looking at the genomic structure underlying recombination in corn. She recently completed assembly of genomes in cotton and a plant pathogen, uncovering in the latter a loss of heterozygosity-based mechanism for rapid evolution. Dr. Mudge has also worked in human genomics, playing a major role in the sequencing of the 6th ever genome (of a Korean individual) and of female monozygotic twins discordant for multiple sclerosis.
Andrew Farmer, Bioinformatics Fellow
Mr. Farmer’s interests focus on plant genomics with an emphasis on agricultural systems important to global food security and environmental stability. He collaborates with academic and industry partners to characterize diversity in deep germplasm collections and in many "orphan" species, and to develop new reference data sets or leverage resources from well-studied crops or model systems. His aspirations include contributing to the understanding of genotype/phenotype correlations using integrative analytical and visualization techniques encompassing both the dimension of the diversity of datatypes such as transcriptome and epigenetic profiling, and the dimension of intra-organismal diversity.
Anitha Sundararajan, Ph.D., Research Scientist
NCGR Adjunct Faculty
Greg D. May, Ph.D., Research Fellow
Dr. May’s interests are in the understanding of the recruitment of genes to serve new biological functions and in the biology of the genome. When novel organs or biological functions such as vision evolve, genes are often recruited to serve new purposes. Lens proteins in the eye, for example, were recruited from metabolic enzymes and in some instances still retain metabolic activity. Plant genome duplication or increased ploidy facilitates genome plasticity and the opportunity for genes to be recruited to serve novel functional roles. The effect of these duplication events on the biology of the genome, in particular, the molecular mechanisms, such as DNA methylation and histone modification employed to compensate for changes in genome content are also of interest.
Stephen Kingsmore, MB, ChB, BAO, DSc, FRCPath, Research Fellow
Dr. Stephen F. Kingsmore was appointed Director of the Children's Mercy Center for Pediatric Genomic Medicine in January 2011. He was named one of the best physicians of 2012 by Medscape. Previously, Dr. Kingsmore was variously the President, CEO and Chief Scientific Officer of the National Center for Genome Resources, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Prior to this, Dr. Kingsmore was Chief Operating Officer of Molecular Staging Inc., Vice President of Research of CuraGen Corp. and Assistant Professor at the University of Florida. Dr. Kingsmore received a B.Sc. in medical microbiology, degrees in medicine (M.B., Ch.B., B.A.O.) and D.Sc. in molecular genetics from the Queen's University Belfast in Northern Ireland. He completed residency in Internal Medicine and fellowship in Rheumatology at Duke. Dr. Kingsmore is a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists (UK) and a member of the DHHS Secretary's Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children Carrier Screening Workgroup. His research interests are genome analysis, systems surveys and individualized medicine.
Norman G. Lewis, Ph.D., Research Fellow
Dr. Lewis was initially trained in chemistry (natural product/organic chemistry/biochemistry specializations) receiving B.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow) and University of British Columbia, where he received ICI and NATO/SRC scholarships to support his studies. He next worked with Professor (Sir) Alan R. Battersby on Vitamin B12 biosynthesis at the University of Cambridge through NRC (Canada) post-doctoral support, prior to taking up a NRC (Canada) Research Associate position. Dr. Lewis has also previously held positions as Group Leader at PAPRICAN (Pulp and Paper Research Institute of Canada), and as Associate Professor at Virginia Tech.His research has largely been supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, as well as from Thomas G. and Anita Hargrove Foundation, and the Arthur M. and Katie Eisig-Tode Foundation. Dr. Lewis has also received support from NSERC (Canada), Tembec (Canada), ICI, McMillan Bloedel (Canada), NATO/SRC, Philip Morris Tobacco Company and many other funding entities.
Craig Beattie, Ph.D., Program Leader
Matthew Fields, Ph.D. Research Fellow
Dr. Matthew Fields is an associate professor in the Department of Microbiology at Montana State University. His lab is in the Center for Biofilm Engineering, and he is also associated with the Thermal Biology Institute and the Energy Research Institute at Montana State University. His laboratory uses molecular ecology to study microbial communities associated with different environments in the field that include subsurface sediments, groundwater, coal, and industrial environments. Laboratory work includes sulfate-reducing bacteria, methanogens, and lipid-producing algae, and these types of organisms are important to bioremediation, metal corrosion, and biofuel production, respectively. Ultimately, a driving question is to understand the relationships between structure and function at different scales of biology and how ecological and physiological responses help shape the structure and function relationships. An improved understanding of structure/function relationships will allow predictive modeling and design for a variety of natural and engineered systems.
Matthew Bellgard, Ph.D., Research Fellow
Professor Bellgard is Murdoch University’s Bioinformatics Chair and Director of the Western Australian State Government Centre of Excellence, the Centre for Comparative Genomics. His scientific work has resulted in developments in both the areas of pairwise sequence alignment and artificial intelligence, bacterial bioformatics, whole genome comparative analysis and annotation for a range of species, as well as advances in the development of web-based integrated systems utilizing high performance computing. Major discoveries include vaccine candidates in bacteria and cattle tick, evolutionary mechanisms in bacterial genomes, molecular plant breeding, new computational bioinformatics tools and the development of integrated web-based systems for human health and agricultural applications. Current research interests are human rare diseases, food security (biosecurity, crop improvement, host/pathogen interaction and weed research) and cattle tick genomics.