Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is JBEI’s highest-level internal governing body, reflecting the shared governance structure of the institute with executive-level representation from the partner national laboratories and institutions.

Final authority for the following areas rest with the BOD: budget and resource allocation and oversight; program review; researcher affiliation; resolution of major scientific, operational, and/or policy disputes; and appointment of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The BOD reviews and approves the overall budget and research plan annually.

Members of the Board of Directors

Mark Lagrimini, Ph.D.

Mark Lagrimini is the Vice Provost of Research and Extension with the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. As Vice Provost of Research and Extension, he provides leadership and vision to county-based Cooperative Extension personnel and employees at the nine research and extension centers. Most previously Dr. Lagrimini was a professor in the Department of Agronomy & Horticulture at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he studied the regulation of carbohydrate partitioning in maize and its impact on drought tolerance. From 2005 to 2011, he served as head of the Department of Agronomy & Horticulture, leading the university’s largest department of more than 80 faculty members.

Susan Marqusee, M.D., Ph.D.

Susan Marqusee is a Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology and Chemistry at UC Berkeley. She serves as the campus director for Berkeley’s Institute of Quantitative Biosciences (QB3-Berkeley). Her research expertise is in the area of protein engineering, structure, and dynamics. She received her A.B. in Physics and Chemistry from Cornell University in 1982, and her M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Stanford University in 1990. After a post-doctoral fellowship at MIT, she joined the UC Berkeley faculty as Assistant Professor in 1992, advancing to Associate and Full Professor in 1998 and 2001 respectively..

Stephen Mayfield, Ph.D.

Stephen Mayfield is the Director of UC San Diego’s California Center for Algae Biotechnology and Co-director of Food & Fuel for the 21st Century. Mayfield obtained Bachelor of Science degrees in Biochemistry and in Plant Biology from California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo in 1979, and a Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1984. From 1984 to 1987 Steve was an NIH post-doctoral fellow at the University of Geneva, Switzerland. In 1987 he joined the Scripps Research Institute and become a professor and associate dean of the graduate school before leaving to join UC San Diego in 2009.

Andrew McIlroy, Ph.D.

As Acting Associate Labs Director for Integrated Security Solutions, Andrew McIlroy provides leadership and management direction for Sandia’s California Laboratory and the Energy and Earth Systems Center, which includes staff in New Mexico, Texas, and Alaska. He also has primary responsibility for Sandia’s Energy and Homeland Security mission portfolio, as well as for California weapon systems and component engineering. He has a B.S. in Chemistry with honors and distinction from Harvey Mudd College and a Ph.D. in Chemical Physics from the University of Colorado.

Prasant Mohapatra, Ph.D.

Dr. Prasant Mohapatra is serving as the Vice Chancellor for Research at University of California, Davis. He is also a Professor in the Department of Computer Science and served as the Dean and Vice-Provost of Graduate Studies during 2016-18. He served as Associate Chancellor during 2014-16, and the Interim Vice-Provost and CIO of UC Davis during 2013-14. He was the Department Chair of Computer Science during 2007-13. He has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Padova, Italy and Yonsei University, and KAIST, South Korea. His research interests are in the areas of wireless networks, mobile communications, cybersecurity, and Internet protocols.

Cristina Negri

M. Cristina Negri currently leads the Environmental Science Division, where she is working on integrating fundamental and translational science to address some of the most critical environmental problems facing the Nation and the world. An agronomist by training, during her more than 25 years at Argonne, Cristina conducted and directed laboratory to full-scale multidisciplinary projects developing technologies and concepts for environmental stewardship, including soil remediation and water treatment. Her contribution to bioenergy science includes researching the integration of bioenergy within working agricultural landscapes to address the food, energy, water, and land nexus. Her work focuses on developing sustainable, multifunctional landscape concepts, which aim, by design, at the creation of ecosystems services as well as the production of sustainable, energy crop feedstock.

Sarah Nusser, Ph.D.

Sarah Nusser is vice president for research at Iowa State University, leading efforts to develop transformative interdisciplinary research and support the broader research mission at Iowa State. She is professor of statistics and former director of the Center for Survey Statistics and Methodology, where she led research and development for a national agro-environmental survey for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, pursued research in geospatial data collection for land-based surveys, and developed statistical models for surveys aimed at assessing dietary intake and physical activity.

Martin Schoonen, Ph.D.

Martin Schoonen is Associate Laboratory Director at Brookhaven National Laboratory responsible for Environmental Science, Biology, Nuclear Science and Technology and Nonproliferation. He is on leave from Stony Brook University where he founded a Sustainability Studies Program and directed a Geochemistry research group focused on mineral reactivity and water quality.

Susannah Scott, Ph.D.

Dr. Susannah Scott is a Distinguished Professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she currently holds the Duncan and Suzanne Mellichamp Chair in Sustainable Catalysis. She has joint faculty appointments in the Departments of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry & Biochemistry, and she leads UC Santa Barbara’s Mellichamp Academic Initiative in Sustainable Manufacturing. In her research, Scott investigates, designs and reengineers catalysts for chemical transformations including the valorization of biomass conversion and the remediation of environmental contaminants.

Kenneth W. Turteltaub, Ph.D.

Kenneth W. Turteltaub is the Division Leader for the Biosciences and Biotechnology Division at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The Division conducts fundamental and applied research on pathogen genomics, virulence, host-pathogen interactions, molecular diagnostics and pharmacology/toxicology. He founded the NIH/NCRR National Resource for Biomedical Accelerator Mass Spectrometry at LLNL and is an Associate Director of the Joint LLNL-UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, where he helped the Center Gain NIH Designation.

Mike Witherell, Ph.D.

Michael Witherell is a leading physicist with a highly distinguished career in teaching, research and managing complex organizations. He has received numerous honors and recognitions for his scientific contributions and achievements. Witherell is the former director of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in northern Illinois and last held the Presidential Chair in Physics at UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) where he was also vice chancellor for research. He was named director of Berkeley Lab by the UC Board of Regents in January, 2016.

Malin Young, Ph.D.

Malin Young began serving as Deputy Director for Science and Technology at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in October 2015. Young is responsible for integrating PNNL’s science and technology capabilities to address critical challenges in science, energy, the environment, and national security. She also manages PNNL’s institutional science and technology investments and technology commercialization activities.

Board of Directors Institutions


Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is JBEI’s lead institution and a founding partner of the DOE Joint Genome Institute. Berkeley Lab is also home to the Advanced Light Source, the Molecular Foundry, the National Center for Electron Microscopy and the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center. Berkeley Lab’s scientific expertise has been recognized with 13 Nobel prizes. The University of California manages Berkeley Lab for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

Brookhaven National Lab

Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) is a multipurpose research institution funded primarily by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. Located on the center of Long Island, New York, Brookhaven Lab brings world-class facilities and expertise to the most exciting and important questions in basic and applied science including sustainable energy. BNL is home to the Center for Functional Nanomaterials whose work will inform JBEI’s research.

Sandia National Lab

Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) has major R&D responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies and economic competitiveness. Its main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., provide expertise in systems engineering and integration function, microfluidics, computation, robotics, materials development and manufacturing technologies. SNL is operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.


Interdisciplinary teams at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory address many of America’s most pressing issues in energy, the environment and national security through advances in basic and applied science. PNNL employs 4,500 staff, has an annual budget of nearly $1 billion, and has been managed for the U.S. Department of Energy by Ohio-based Battelle since the laboratory’s inception in 1965.


Founded in 1952, Lawrence Livermore (LLNL) is host to the Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry and is also one of the DOE Joint Genome Institute’s founding partners. LLNL provides expertise in genomics, bioinformatics, experimental protein production, advanced measurement technologies and high-performance scientific computing. LLNL is managed by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.


Established in 1858 Iowa State University (ISU) has been a leader in agriculture and engineering. In addition to be being home to Ames Laboratory, ISU houses the Bioeconomy Institute (BEI), Iowa Energy Center (IEC), Plant Science Institute (PSI), Center for Biorenewal Chemicals (CBiRC) and Center for Bioplastics and Biocomposites (CB2) which will inform the work being done at JBEI.


The University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) is a statewide network of University of California researchers and educators dedicated to the creation, development and application of knowledge in agricultural, natural and human resources. UC ANR provides facilities for growing engineered feedstock crops.


UC Berkeley is the nation’s top-ranked public university. Founded in 1868, Berkeley provides a broad range of research support including molecular and cellular biology, molecular genetics, proteomics and environmental sciences. Berkeley counts among its current faculty seven Nobel laureates, 130 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 94 members of the National Academy of Engineering, and 13 recipients of the National Medal of Science.


UC Davis oversees the California Biomass Collaborative, the Northern California Nanotechnology Center, the Western Regional Center of the National Institute for Global Environmental Change and the UC Davis Genome Center. The university supports JBEI’s research mission by providing expertise in plant and environmental sciences, plant genetics, plant physiology, evolutionary biology and environmental science.

UC Santa Barbara

UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) joined the University of California system in 1944. Its faculty includes six Nobel Prize winners and scores of elected members of national and international academies and societies. The campus is home to 12 national centers and institutes, eight of which are sponsored by the National Science Foundation, including the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI).

UC Santa Diego

Established in 1960, UC San Diego (UCSD) is one of the top 15 research universities in the world. One of the first universities in the nation to establish a department of nanoengineering, UC San Diego students work to develop innovative solutions to energy production, medical treatments and more. JBEI will namely partner with UCSD’s Systems Biology Research Group.