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Mark Blenner

Thomas & Kipp Gutshall Career Development 

Associate Professor, University of Delaware

Graduate Program Director

GAANN Inclusive Teaching in ChE Director

NIH & AHA Postdoc Fellow, Harvard Medical School

PhD Chemical Engineering, Columbia Univeristy
BS Chemical Engineering, Manhattan College

Dr. Blenner's interest is generating systems level data and synthetic biology tools to speed the design, build, test cycle for yeast, mammalian cells, and microbial communities. His group is interested in solving problems in complex environments, such as biomanufacturing, and wild environments outside the lab.

 

He views the most important part of his job as helping students develop as independent creative critical thinkers. Graduate students and typically create their projects under Dr. Blenner's guidance. 

 

Dr. Blenner has won numerous awards including the PECASE, the 2022 AIChE Division 15 Early Career Award, and the 2021 ACS BIOT Young Investigator Award

Members: Image

Graduate Students & Postdocs

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Ayushi Agrawal

PhD Student

Engineering Yeast for

Natural Products

BS Chem. Eng., SRM

MS Chem. Eng., Rutgers

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Patrick Beardslee

Postdoctoral Fellow

Nonmodel Yeast Metabolic Engineering

BS Chemistry, University of Nebraska

MS Chemistry, Colorado St.

PhD Chemistry, University of Delaware

CBI Fellow 

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Emily Doleh

PhD Student

Gene Therapy Manufacturing & Synthetic Biology

BS Chem. Eng., Ohio State 

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Samuel Fine

PhD Student

(w/ Cathy Fromen)

Macrophage Engineering

& Synthetic Biology

BS Chem. Eng., Georgia Tech

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Phil Gitman

PhD Student

DE Space Grant Graduate Fellow; GAANN Fellow

Engineering Synthetic Methylotrophy

BS Chem. Eng., UConn

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Spencer Grissom

PhD Student

NSF GRFP Fellow

Epigenetic Tools for Biopharmaceuticals

BS Chem. Eng., Maryland

Palakar Mentor Award - 2022

TA Award - 2023

Amgen Intern - 2023-24

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Postdoctoral Fellow

Richa Guleria, PhD

Engineering Yeast for Space Biomanufacturing

BS Biochemistry, Garhwal University

PhD Biotechnology, Jawaharlal Nehru 

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PhD Student

(w/ Kevin Solomon)

Alex Hansen

Microbiome of Plastic Degradation

BS Chem. Eng., UA Huntsville

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Ross Klauer

PhD Student (w/ Kevin Solomon)

CBI Fellow; DENIN Fellow

Microbiome of Plastic Degradation

BS Chem. Eng., Rose Hullman

Palakar Mentoring Award (2023)

Qiagen Young Scientist Award (2022)

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PhD Student

(w/ Wilfred Chen)

Derron Ma

Dynamic Regulation of Metabolism

BS Biosys. Eng., UC Davis

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PhD Student

(w/ Kevin Solomon)

Wren Mallikarjunan

Metabolic Engineering for

Plastics Upcycling

BS Chem. Eng., Georgia Tech.

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Nathan Miller

PhD Student

(w/ Kevin Solomon)

Microbial Community Engineering for Plastic Biodegradation

BS Chem. Eng., Arizona State

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Austin Morgan

Microbiology PhD Student

Autonomous Stable Gene Circuits

BS BIochem, Truman State

Pitch 90 Winner

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Phil O'Dell

PhD Student

Yeast Metabolic Engineering of Plant Natural Products

BS Biochem, Miami University

MS Chem. Eng., Miami University

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Postdoctoral Fellow

(w/ Kevin Solomon)

Jenna Ott

Microbial Community Engineering for Plastic Biodegradation

BS Chem Eng., UC Santa Barbara

PhD Chem. Eng., Princeton University

NSF GRFP

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PhD Student

CBI Fellow

Topher Pirner

Mammalian Synthetic Biology

BS Chem. Eng., Rose Hulman

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Postdoctoral Fellow

Prem Pritam

Metabolomics and Metabolic Engineering

BTech Biotechnology, RAU Pusa

PhD Chem. Eng., IIT Bombay

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Rachel Silvestri

PhD Student

Yeast Engineering for

Protein Secretion

 

BS Chem. Eng., Manhattan College

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Jaya Singh, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Engineering Yeast for Oleochemicals

BS Biochemistry, Bundelkhand U.

PhD Biotechnology, Jawaharlal Nehru 

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Anthony Stohr

PhD Student (w/ Wilfred Chen)

NDSEG Fellow

RNA-based Metabolic Biosensors

 

BS Chem. Eng., Northeastern

Frasier Russel Teaching Fellow 

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Raymond Tsao

Microbiology PhD Student

Yeast Engineering for Manufacturing Phenotypes

BS Biochem & Molecular Bio, UC Davis

Undergraduates

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Shirly Gottlieb

Class of 2026

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Helena Hansen

Class of 2026

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Julia Jeskey

Class of 2026

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Susan Kuhn

Class of 2027

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Caleb Lawson

Class of 2025

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Sam MacDonald

Class of 2026

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Dheeraj Pedada

Class of 2024

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Liv Quick

Class of 2025

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Lauren DeSantis

Class of 2026

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Class of 2025

Zach Dixon

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Class of 2024

Max Friedeman

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Aiden Gensure

Class of 2025

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Thanya Shemi

Class of 2026

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Brian Sipko

Class of 2024

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Rena So

Class of 2025

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Zach Stevenson

Class of 2025

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Megan Tarr

Class of 2025 (BME)

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Hanna White

Class of 2025

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Mekhi Williams

Class of 2025

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Kayla Wolf

Class of 2025

Lab Alumni

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Zhiliang Yang

Postdoctoral Fellow

(2019-20)

Engineering Yeast for Natural Product Biosynthesis

Currently seeking a faculty position.

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Weigao Wang

Graduate Student
(2015-21)

Enzyme & Secretion Engineering 

Currently a Postdoc at Stanford

 

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Allison Yaguchi

PhD Student
(2014-2020)

Aromatic metabolism in oleaginous yeast

Currently a Postdoc at NREL

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Charles Wang

MS Student
(2018-20)

Mammalian Artificial Chromosome

Currently at Unknown

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Difeng Gao

Postdoctoral Fellow (2015-18)

Yarrowia Metabolic Engineering

Currently at Biomedican, Inc.

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Murri Shabbir Hussain

PhD Student
(2013-2018)

Genetic Tools for Yarrowia

Currently at Abbott Biosciences

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Gabriel Rodriguez

Postdoctoral Fellow
(2014-17)

Yarrowia Metabolic Engineering 

Currently at Ginkgo Biosciences

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A. Nolan Wilson

PhD Student
(2009-14)

Metabolic Modeling

Currently at NREL

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Max Hilbert

PhD Student
(2018-2021)

Enzyme Immobilization

Currently at Unknown

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Molly Wintenberg

PhD Student
(2016-2022)

Microbial Radiation Biosensors

Currently NRC Fellow at NIST

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Mike Spagnuolo

PhD Student
(2015-2022)

Engineering Yeast for Biopolymers

Currently Postdoc in the Blenner Lab

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Dyllan Rives

PhD Student
(2016-2022)

ER Stress in CHO Cells

Currently Seeking a Position

Engineering Macronutrients from Plastic

BS Biophysics, Michigan

PhD Biophysics, Michigan

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Jason Karslake, PhD

Plastic Waste Upcycling

Currently at Molecular Templates

Postdoc

(2020-2022)

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Jyoti Singh, PhD

Postdoc

(2020-2022)

Microbiome Engineering & Plastic Biodegradation

Currently at Unilever 

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VIjay Ganesan

PhD Student

(2017-2023)

Genetic Tools for Pathway Balancing

Currently at Sandia National Lab

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Postdoc

(2023)

Michael Spagnuolo

Oleochemical Metabolic Engineering

Currently at US Army DEVCOM

Chris Nauman, PhD

Postdoctoral

(2021-2024)

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Engineering Macronutrientrs from Plastic

Currently Seeking a Position

Additional Lab Alumni

Delaware Students: Chiku Bhatt, Nick Brennan, Jack Seiffert, Khiem Le, Ian Kang, Suzi Zien, Jack Werb, Grace Shoemaker (UF), Bala Saravanan, Caroline Zu (Purdue), Gabriel Ma, Mugilan Nambi (High School), Brady Johnson, Kritee Sangroula, Joseph Castenda (CCNY), Grace Shoemaker (UF)Rainer Hlibok, Allie Platchek, Samanthan Burger, Audrey Cicerchia, Luis Garcia Osorio, Toni Akin Adenikan, Lydia Kowalski

Clemson Students: Hayden Tharpe, Meredith Bailey, Taylor Cook, Erika Arvay, Lauren Gambill, Adam Beitz, Sarah Smith, Tatum Sass, Amy Rees, Julia Martone, Sierra Gurtler, Ahmad Alquza, Tara Richbourg, Scott Anglin, Dubby Wiseman, Sam Williams, Rachel Ham, Valarie Peters, Vaishnavi Kanduri, Mariana Holladay, Simon Ciprari, Jude de Konig, Will Burnette, Patrick Dayton, Chlo Forenzo, Cooper Tillman, Joel Watkins, David Kindervater, Matt Brabender, Brice Martin, Lane Norris, Tae Watts, Anna Delahunt, Sarah Dorsey, Sara Edgecomb, Samantha Hutter, Luke Mabry, Kaitlyn O'Neill, Melissa Nolan, Gabby Mochizuki, Caroline Peak, Mitchell Angove, Lexie Adams (Miami), Nicky Franaszek, Zach Williamson, Sean Miller, Morgan Usher, Mia Maciorowski, Cheyanne Brady, Camillo Susecum, Braxton Baird, Grant Smith, Peyton Hudson, Jennifer Cabezas, Sarah Smith, Jillian Laird, Danielle Acker, Elizabeth Huntley, Jenna Schoefield (MSU), Jack Tabb, Erin Mihealsick, Alana Robinson, Phillip Baker, Kaitlyn Scola, Robert Barrett, Vineeth Sama, Tanner Karp, Kylie Burkes, Caroline Moody (NCSU), Emma Ressler, Michael Xie (Ohio), Shanna Pearce, Will Hardy, Mary Kate Rumph, Tiffany Yu, Jeremy Fowler, Sarah Knowles, Parker Hume, Julia Borglin, Jessica Zielinski, Kyle Pazzo, Hayden Campbell, Justin James, Jacob Livingston, Jeanette Rodriguez, Meg Wilkes, Andrew Dippre, Joseph Whitaker, Charlie Kessler, Kyle Reed, Katie Stahel, Megan Stahlberger, Mohit Gahndi, Patricia Jokl, Joseph Redzikowski, James Foster, Thomas Pavelka, Lauren Reed, Thomas Stanton, Joy Jones, Dennish Parekh, Syed Bukhari, Yancy Appling, David Carey

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