James G Elkins
Dr. James G. Elkins is a Staff Scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the Biosciences Division and Systems Genetics group. He also holds a position as Joint Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Dr. Elkins received his B. Sc. in Microbiology and M. Sc. in Environmental Sciences from Montana State University, Bozeman. He joined a start-up company, Diversa Corporation, in San Diego, CA, where he was involved in the discovery and cultivation of novel microorganisms as part of the microbial biodiversity group. He transitioned from industry back to academia and completed his Ph.D. in Microbiology at the University of Regensburg, Germany, studying deep-branching, hyperthermophilic Archaea. Following a postdoctoral appointment with the Systems Biology Research Group at the University of California, Dr. Elkins joined ORNL in 2007. His primary research focuses on the discovery and characterization of thermophilic microorganisms that are relevant to various biotechnological applications. A main interest is identifying factors that inhibit cellular growth and metabolism during conversion of lignocellulosic substrates to liquid fuels. While working within the BioEnergy Science Center (BESC) several studies have been aimed at improving the robustness of cellulose-fermenting thermophiles including Clostridium thermocellum and Caldicellulosiruptor species. Other interests include understanding the functional roles and ecophysiology of diverse microorganisms within anoxic microbial communities. Dr. Elkins receives research funding from DOE-BER, NIH and NASA.