Microbial Insights, Inc. (MI) was established in 1992 based on the revolutionary research of Dr. David C. White, a pioneer and one of the original champions of molecular biological tools (MBTs) and molecular microbiological methods (MMM). For 25 years now, the MI mission has been to provide the most accurate and precise data in the industry while always striving to remain at the forefront of molecular methods and environmental diagnostics. Achieving the MI mission is only possible through the expertise, experience, and dedication of our staff so we invite you to “Meet the Scientists”.   Below are a few of the key personnel involved in your projects.

Dora Taggart

is the President of Microbial Insights.  Since joining Microbial Insights in 2001, the array of MBTs developed and validated at Microbial Insights has been greatly expanded from the first commercial qPCR analysis (Dehalococcoides) through the development of the QuantArray® and commercialization of stable isotope probing (SIP) to the Microbial Insights Database. Dora personally analyzed the first commercial Dehalococcoides qPCR samples and continues to propel MI forward by collaborating with leading researchers in academia and federal agencies to ensure that MI remains on the cutting edge.  As President, Dora has become a global ambassador for MBTs, regularly presenting as an invited speaker at environmental and corrosion conferences, leading hundreds of technical workshops worldwide, and co-authoring guidance documents with groups like the Interstate Technology Regulatory Council (ITRC) EMD team and ER Wiki (Remediapedia) to support appropriate use and interpretation of MBTs.  In 2011, Dora was named the most valuable team member for the ITRC EMD team.  She also serves on the Board of Directors of Bottle Rocket Productions and Environmental Workshops, LLC.  Dora received her degree in Biomedical Engineering from Vanderbilt University.

Anita Biernacki

is the Vice President of Operations at Microbial Insights. Since joining Microbial Insights in 2006, Anita has helped to advance and implement the MI vision. Anita oversees the DNA, PLFA, and Stable Isotope Laboratories and is ultimately responsible for all processes from sample reception through analysis to report delivery and ensuring that we achieve the MI mission of offering our clients the most accurate and comprehensive spectrum of MBTs in the industry. As VP of Operations, Anita leads process improvement initiatives, oversees quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC), works to sustain the lab and IT infrastructure, and manages employee relations. Her comprehensive business leadership developed through experience over the years of running MI with a managerial perspective. She received her B.S. in Biology from the University of South Florida and her M.S. in Microbiology from the University of Tennessee. During her graduate studies under Prof. David White, Anita employed a variety of MBTs to investigate the microbial community composition and structure associated with methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) biodegradation under anaerobic conditions at gasoline impacted sites.

Brett Baldwin

is the Vice President of Biotechnology at Microbial Insights. Since joining Microbial Insights in 2008, his focus is applied research and development that leads to actionable MBT data. At Microbial Insights, Brett was the PI on two NSF Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants, was a co-author of the Interstate Technology Regulatory Council (ITRC) guidance documents on qPCR, Microbial Fingerprinting, and Data Quality, and more recently co-authored the MBTs chapter of the ER Wiki (Remediapedia). Brett advances the MI mission by serving as a technical resource for MI project managers and staff scientists and writing publications and technical presentations that promote the appropriate selection, application and interpretation of MBTs in environmental remediation. Brett received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Purdue University. During his Ph.D. studies, Brett was among the first to design and field validate qPCR assays to evaluate biodegradation of BTEX and PAHs. While a Sr. Engineer, he developed corrective action plans for petroleum impacted sites, managed a RCRA site, and served as a co-PI on the National Science Foundation (NSF) funded grant using MBTs to evaluate monitored natural attenuation (MNA) and enhanced bioremediation.

Kate Clark

is the Technical Director at Microbial Insights. Since joining Microbial Insights in 2013, Kate is currently responsible for project development and implementation as well as comprehensive and historical reporting. With expertise and experience ranging from the lab bench to field sites, she is uniquely suited for project development and management — aiding clients from MBT assay selection and study design through reporting and result interpretation. She received her B.S. in Biology from Rhodes College and went on to complete her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Tulsa. During her Ph.D. studies, Kate focused on the use of molecular biological tools (MBTs) including qPCR and stable isotope probing (SIP) to assess biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbons and fuel oxygenates. She was also instrumental in the development and full scale, field validation of innovative in situ bioreactors for enhanced biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbons and chlorinated solvents.

Casey Brown

is a DNA Laboratory Manager at Microbial Insights, Inc. Since joining Microbial Insights in 2012, Casey has served in the DNA Laboratory where she has been responsible for all processes including DNA and RNA extractions, qPCR, QuantArray, and report delivery. With detailed knowledge of molecular biological tools (MBTs) and experience in assessment of remediation technologies, Casey is currently a project manager at MI aiding in study design, assay selection, and result interpretation. She received her B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University at Buffalo and her M.S. in Forensic Science from Buffalo State College. For her M.S. thesis, Casey developed a single cell hydrogel array that allowed her to investigate cellular responses to environmental stresses such as osmotic shock. After completing her Masters, she performed treatability studies to assess biodegradation of BTEX and chlorinated solvents and evaluate chemical oxidation of soil and groundwater contaminants with persulfate and Fenton’s reagent.

Jennifer Amos

is the Customer Service Manager at Microbial Insights. Since joining Microbial Insights in 2014, Mrs. Amos is at the hub of operations responsible for overseeing bottle orders, sample check-in, routine quoting and often serving as the initial point of contact and liaison between our clients and project managers. At MI, we strive to match cutting edge MBTs with exceptional customer service that simply cannot be matched by other laboratories. To achieve this goal, Jennifer combines scientific knowledge and experience with outstanding skills in organization, logistics and communication. While completing her B.A. in Biology, she performed an undergraduate thesis project investigating the orientation of turtles. After graduation, Jennifer oversaw all daily operations of a veterinary practice and went on to hone her customer service skills by managing client contact and business operations for a company with a staff of over four hundred. She received her B.A. in Biology from Maryville College.

Sam Rosolina

is an Analytical Chemist and Manager of the Compound Specific Isotope Analysis (CSIA) Laboratory at Microbial Insights. Since joining Microbial Insights in 2016, Sam has been optimizing and implementing new analyses in our stable isotope facility. With his expertise and experience in the development and validation of cutting-edge analytical techniques and methods, Dr. Rosolina will ensure that the CSIA Laboratory meets the highest standards of accuracy and precision while he continues to broaden the scope of environmental molecular diagnostics for environmental and MIC assessment. He received his B.A. in Chemistry from Berea College and went on to complete a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry at the University of Tennessee. Throughout his Ph.D. research, Sam focused on analysis of trace-level environmental toxins including heavy metals and toxic gases. Detection and quantification of trace contaminants in complex mixtures and media is an especially challenging field requiring not only the development and optimization of innovative new analytical methods but also the establishment of highly rigorous QA/QC procedures for initial and continuing method validation.

Josh Grant

is the Bioinformatician at Microbial Insights. Since joining Microbial Insights in 2016, Josh has been working to combine the tools of computer science, statistics and engineering to analyze and interpret biological data. With the multiple lines of evidence approach that combines molecular biological tools like next generation sequencing (NGS) with the corresponding chemical, geochemical and CSIA monitoring, environmental assessment and remediation is rapidly becoming “Big Data”. With his expertise in bioinformatics and statistical modeling, Josh will help MI clients get the most out of their data by revealing patterns, trends and associations not always evident with traditional approaches and most importantly, by helping clients convert those observations to site management. He received a B.S. in Plant Sciences-Biotechnology and earned his M.S. in Plant Molecular Genetics from the University of Tennessee. During his graduate studies, Josh focused on bioinformatics and advanced statistical analyses to develop tools for the discovery of functional classifications and gene expression patterns.

Charles Slater

is a Senior Research Scientist at Microbial Insights. Since joining Microbial Insights in 2012, Charles has been instrumental in qPCR and QuantArray assay design and ensuring that Microbial Insights continues to remain at the forefront of molecular microbiology. Charles’ expertise and experience both at the lab bench and at the computer spans the continuum of molecular biology from DNA (extraction, qPCR, sequencing) through gene expression (mRNA, RT-qPCR) to protein purification and analysis (SDS-PAGE, HPLC, MS). Over the past 20 years, the molecular microbiology field has exploded not just in terms of technology but also in terms of data volume with nearly 200,000,000 gene sequences available. Simply put, developing and validating new MBTs requires a special team of scientists and a corporate commitment to research and development. He received his B.S. in Biology from the University of Tennessee and his M.S. in Forensic Science and Biotechnology from the University of Alabama.

Jason Spence

is the Data Analysis Manager at Microbial Insights.  Since joining Microbial Insights in 2015, Jason has been responsible for the analysis of qPCR, QuantArray, and PLFA results at Microbial Insights as well as generation and initial review of Level III and Level IV reports. Microbial Insights offers a complete spectrum of molecular biological tools (MBTs) and provides the most accurate and precise data in the industry. Processing thousands of samples from sites around the world and adhering to the highest QA/QC standards demands a dedicated group of scientists with exceptional technical experience, analytical capabilities, and organizational skills. Prior to joining MI, Jason was a Research Specialist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of North Carolina where he performed Quantitative Trait Locus analysis and curated the molecular benchwork/inventory databases. Later, he was a Research Coordinator for large-scale phenotyping at the University of Tennessee. He received his B.S. in Biochemistry, Cellular, and Molecular Biology from the University of Tennessee.