Tomas A Rush

R&D Associate Staff Scientist

Tomás Allen Rush is an R&D associate staff scientist in the Biosciences Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Dr. Rush is a mycologist interested in understanding chemical signals influencing fungal community organizations and behavior. In addition, Dr. Rush has extensive experience working on biological systems involving numerous plant and human pathogens, understanding their mode of infection, interactions with hosts or other microbes, and epidemiology. He also works on the isolation and characterization of novel fungal species. He earned his B.S. in Biological and Agricultural Engineering in 2008 and M.S. in Plant Pathology in 2012 at Louisiana State University.  For his master’s thesis, Dr. Rush worked on validating diagnostic assays on the emerging fungal pathogen Phakopsora pachyrhizi, the causal agent of Asian soybean rust. Afterward, he was a Fulbright Research Scholar at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand, from 2012 to 2013. He worked on discovering and characterizing novel yeast fungi found in remote tropical regions of Thailand. Then he received his Ph.D. in Plant Pathology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2019. His dissertation was on understanding the roles of the signaling compounds Lipochitooligosaccharides (LCOs) in fungi and how they influence fungal behavior. Tomás had a post-doctoral research position from 2019 to 2021 with Dr. Jessy Labbé in the Biosciences Division at ORNL. In 2021, he received a staff appointment at ORNL.