Jeffrey Gralnick, Ph.D.

Jeffrey Gralnick is a Professor of Plant and Microbial Biology, a member of the BioTechnology Institute and the current Director of the Microbial and Plant Genomics Institute at the University of Minnesota. The Gralnick Lab works at the intersection of environmental microbiology and synthetic biology, with a particular focus on bacteria that can eat (oxidize) or breathe (reduce) iron. Iron can be replaced by electrodes in these systems where the bacteria either consume or produce electrical current. The lab uses classic and modern genetic techniques to understand the physiology and metabolism of these bacteria and engineer them for a variety of applications in bioenergy, biocatalysis and bioremediation. The lab has published over 50 papers in the area of microbial extracellular electron transfer, with nearly half published in ASM journals. Gralnick’s former students have gone on to diverse positions in industry (both start-ups and major corporations), academia, teaching institutions and craft brewing.