The SUNY Center for Applied Microbiology was established July 1, 2004, through a generous donation by Dr. Chin Yang. The Center continues to function and provide funding for academic research in the broad arena of applied microbiology. The funds are managed through the ESF College Foundation, Inc. and provide support for graduate students, faculty and modest equipment needs.
The Center now consists of six faculty members: Dr. James Nakas (Director), Dr. Chun Wang (Professor Emeritus), Dr. Susan Anagnost, Dr. John Fieschko, Dr. Christopher Whipps, and Dr. Christopher Nomura, and one technician, Mr. Joseph Perotta (working with Dr. Nakas).
Current research is directed toward the revival and maintenance of fungal cultures, mostly basidiomycetes for the EPA-funded project under the direction of Drs. Anagnost, and Wang. Dr. Nakas continues his work on biodegradable thermoplastics. The purpose of this research is to achieve synthesis of these polymers,(polyhydroxyalkanoates, PHAs, totally from wood-based and other renewable feedstocks which include xylan and levulinic acid, both of which can be generated by thewood products industry. Glycerol, a byproduct of the biodiesel industry, is also considered a renewable feedstock for conversion to biofuels and bioproducts. Dr. Whipps continues to focus on microbial diseases of fish and Dr. Nomura has an active program on the metabolic and protein engineering ofbacteria producing biodegradable polymers as substitutes for polypropylene.