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Dr. Abdul Latif Khan has received a Ph.D. in Plant Physiology from the School of Applied Biosciences, Kyungpook National University, South Korea. Over the years, his expertise has been in Plant-Stress Interactions to understand molecular mechanisms and biosynthetic pathways involved in climate stress tolerance. He also studies microbiome engineering to improve plant production systems with the least energy and carbon footprints. His lab is establishing a synthetic microbiome for healthy food and increased plant growth. He has also worked on economically and medicinally important plants to understand their genome organization and novel phytochemical biosynthetic pathways. He is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Engineering Technology, Cullen College of Engineering, University of Houston, USA. He has been the associate editor of the Journal of Plant Growth Regulation since 2020. He has more than 15 years of education and research with more than 17,000 citations (h-index 71).
Dr. Yuheng Lin is a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Biotechnology in the Department of Engineering Technology at the University of Houston (UH). He holds a Ph.D. in Biological Engineering from the University of Georgia. Leading the Engineering Microbiology Lab, Dr. Lin’s research focuses on the design and engineering of microorganisms using metabolic engineering and synthetic biology approaches for biomanufacturing, agriculture, and medical applications. He has authored over 30 journal articles, including many publications in high-impact journals like Nature Communications, Metabolic Engineering, Current Opinion in Biotechnology, and ACS Synthetic Biology. In addition, he has filed six patents as a major inventor.
Dr. Venkatesh Balan has been an Associate professor at the Engineering Technology Department at Cullen College of Technology, University of Houston, since September 2017. His research concentrates on Biomass conversion to fuels, chemicals, edible mushrooms, animal feed, and biomaterials. Other areas of expertise include developing methods of producing and processing algal biomass to proteins, biofuel, and biochemical, adding value to mushroom industrial waste, and annotating fungal genes to identify novel enzymes for industrial application. He has published over 188 publications, awarded 9 patents with >15,940 citations to his credit, and edited a couple of books related to biomass conversion and microbial lipids. He has also been an expert reviewer for numerous scientific journals and on several scientific review panels.
Dr. Hyunseok Hwang is an assistant professor of sociology who earned a Ph.D. in sociology and an MPA from Texas A&M University. His academic interests encompass organization theory, environmental sociology, community resilience, philanthropic studies, and social entrepreneurship. His research has a central theme of exploring how individuals and organizations respond to institutional heterogeneity, significant societal challenges, and issues affecting organizational sustainability, particularly in the context of grand social and environmental challenges.
Dr. Shuyang Zhen is an assistant professor in Controlled Environment Agriculture/Horticulture at Texas A&M University. She received her Ph.D. in Horticulture from the University of Georgia and worked as a post-doctoral fellow at Utah State University before joining TAMU in 2020. Her current research focuses on environmental plant physiology, electric lighting, photobiology, and optimizing fresh food production in greenhouses, indoor farms, and for space exploration. She teaches an undergraduate-level course on hydroponic food crop production and a graduate-level course on environmental instrumentation.
Dr. Albert Flavier is an Instructional Professor at the Engineering Technology Department at Cullen College of Technology, University of Houston. His specialty is microbial biotechnology, explicitly focusing on the genetic mechanisms of plant pathogens. In addition, he has several years of research and analysis related to antibody and protein engineering. He teaches several courses on the genetic engineering of microbes and their uses for human and plant health.






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