Advisory Committee

Dean ApplingInterim Director

Dr. Dean Appling, Associate Dean, Professor, Molecular Biosciences

Dr. Appling is Associate Dean for the College of Natural Sciences and a professor in the Department of Molecular Biosciences. His research focuses on the organization and regulation of metabolic pathways in eukaryotes. Eukaryotic cells are composed of many different compartments, such as cytoplasm, mitochondria, and nuclei. Although each of these compartments exhibits a distinct set of metabolic processes, they must all communicate with each other for the cell to function properly. Understanding how these processes are organized and controlled represents the next frontier in the study of metabolism. Dr. Appling's laboratory has focused their efforts on folate-mediated one-carbon metabolism. This set of pathways is found in all cells and organisms, is central to fundamental processes such as nucleic acid and protein synthesis, and occurs in multiple compartments. They are particularly interested in understanding how one-carbon metabolism is organized in mitochondria, as these organelles are central players in many human diseases. They utilize a wide variety of biochemical and molecular genetic techniques, including metabolic engineering, to study the organization of these pathways in both mammalian and fungal systems. They are currently using knockout mouse models to study the role of these pathways in embryonic development.


Dr. Howard Ochman, Associate DirectorAssociate Director

Dr. Howard Ochman, Professor, Department of Integrative Biology

Dr. Howard Ochman is a professor in the Department of Integrative Biology and his research group focuses on applying experimental, comparative, and computational approaches to investigate the factors contributing to the evolution of bacterial genomes and microbial communities. Dr. Ochman’s work has been highlighted by PNAS, PLOS Biology,  and many international peer-reviewed journals.  He has received several awards including being named a Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Advisory Board

An advisory board has been established to provide input and guidance in all center endeavors.  This board is composed of four highly accomplished UT Austin faculty members representing the three core colleges; the College of Natural Sciences, the College of Pharmacy, and the Cockrell School of Engineering.  They are Dr. Shelley Payne (Natural Sciences), Dr. Andrew Ellington (Natural Sciences), Dr. Walter Fast (Pharmacy), and Dr. George Georgiou (Engineering).