Dianna Morris (previously Long)Graduate Research Assistant
Hi, welcome to my page!
I am a PhD candidate in the Complex Biosystems department at UNL. Prior to joining this program, I earned my BS in Biology from Truman State University and explored another area of interest, earning my MA in Psychology at UNL.
I have been part of the Systems and Synthetic Biology laboratory, since August, 2018. I work to develop synthetic biology tools for non-model bacteria with the goal to metabolically engineer industrially useful strains for bioproduction. Bioproduction involves taking a living organism, providing it with a nutrient source, and allowing the living system to create a chemical of interest. For example, one of my projects involves feeding corn waste to a bacterium to produce a molecule used to create bioplastics. Bioproduction has potential to replace non-sustainable methods, such as those that require petroleum. My PhD work focusses on using non-model organisms that already possess interesting native characteristics and optimizing them for bioproduction through synthetic tool design and metabolic engineering. The metabolic engineering strategies are predicted from genome-scale computational models constructed by myself and other members of my lab. The combination of computational modeling and experimental implementation allows for a design-build-test cycle that ultimately results in organisms tailored to bio-produce important chemicals.
My current projects involve
i) Development and analysis of a genome-scale metabolic model for the analysis of Paraburkholderia sacchari;
ii) Metabolic engineering of Paraburkholderia sacchari for bioproduction of bioplastics (PHB and PHBV); and
iii) Metabolic engineering of Actinobacillus succinogenes for bioproduction of succinic acid.
Outside of work, I like to spend my time exploring in nature, reading in my hammock, attempting DIY projects, and spending time with family and friends.
Here is a list of my publications:
- Kiat, J.E., Long, D., and Belli, R.F., "Attentional responses on an auditory oddball predict false memory susceptibility", Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience 18:5, (2018).
- Bett, C., Grgac, K., Long, D., Karfunkle, M., Keire, D.A., Asher, D.M., and Gregori, L., "A heparin purification process removes spiked transmissible spongiform encephalopathy agent", The AAPS Journal 19:3 (2017).
- Chen, K., Long, D.S., Lute, S.C., Levy, M.J., Brorson, K.A., and Kiere, D.A., " Simple NMR methods for evaluating higher order structures of monoclonal antibody therapeutics with quinary structure", Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, 128, (2016).
- Mans, D.J., Ye, H., Dunn, J.D., Kollinski, R.E., Long, D.S., … and Kiere, D.A., "Synthesis and detection of N-sulfonated oversulfated chondroitin sulfate in marketplace heparin", Analytical Biochemistry, 490 (2015).