Adam M Guss

Genetic and Metabolic Engineer

Dr. Adam Guss is a Genetic and Metabolic Engineer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Joint Faculty Assistant Professor in the Bredesen Center at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Dr. Guss received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign in the Department of Microbiology studying the electron transport pathways used by members of the Archaea to produce methane. He was a Microbial Sciences Initiative Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University studying the phylogenetic and metabolic diversity of non-cultured and rarely cultured bacteria present in the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients. He then worked in Lee Lynd’s research group at Dartmouth College as a Postdoctoral Researcher and Research Scientist as a member of the BioEnergy Science Center (BESC). His work involved improving genetic tools and metabolic engineering of Clostridium thermocellum for production of biofuels from cellulosic biomass. Dr. Guss’ current research utilizes genetics and synthetic biology to engineer microbes to convert lignocellulosic plant biomass and other waste into liquid fuels and other value-added products. Within BESC, his major research focus is the metabolic engineering of thermophilic, cellulose-degrading bacteria such as C. thermocellum and members of the Caldicellulosiruptor genus for production of liquid fuels. Other projects include genetic modification of Pseudomonas putida for the conversion of lignin-derived aromatic compounds into value-added fuels and chemicals.


1. Lo J, Guss AM, Van Dijken JP, Shaw IV JA, Olson DG, Herring CD. Engineering an Increase in Ethanol Production by Altering Cofactor Specificity. US Patent 20,140,322,783

2. Brown S, Guss AM, Yang S, Karpinets T, Lynd LR. Nucleic acid molecules conferring enhanced ethanol tolerance and microorganisms having enhanced tolerance to ethanol United States Patent US20110287499. Issued Jan 14, 2014.

3. Currie DH, McBride J, Guss AM. Modified cipA gene from Clostridium thermocellum for enhanced genetic stability. US Patent App. 13/265,107, 2010