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David Garcia

Bioenergy and Biofuels


Originally from Chicago, Illinois David received his Bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Ripon College in Wisconsin. His thesis work seeking to characterize the enzymatic potential of an uncharacterized termitic bacterium was performed under the guidance of Eric Matson. He then worked at the California Institute of Technology performing cryo-electron tomography studies of extracellular structures, before moving to Oak Ridge National Laboratory to assist with the development of biofuel-producing organisms. His current work in the laboratory of Mitchel Doktycz at ORNL is focused on the development and use of cell-free systems for metabolic engineering and synthetic biology. Specifically, his works centers around the use genetic end metabolic engineering tools and techniques to design cell-free systems capable of producing valuable biological and chemical products. David is also a graduate advisor for the University of Tennessee Knoxville’s iGEM team, as well as a science and society columnist for the Daily Beacon. In his free time, he enjoys reading science fiction, playing video games, and spending time with friends and family.

Professional Service

  • IGEM Graduate Student Advisor: Responsible for assisting an undergraduate team of researchers design, perform, and present a novel work at the International Genetically Engineered Machine competition. (2015-Present)
  • Daily Beacon Science Columnist: Produced a science and society column dedicated to helping bridge the divide between science and public through discussions of scientific events and topics. (2015-Present)
  • Student Volunteer for ORNL and Community Science Fairs. (2015-Current)
  • Math and science tutor for Ripon area school district: After School tutor for students struggling with math and science. (2010-14)

Awards and Recognitions

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, 2017

GEM Consortium Conference 2016: 1st Place Poster Award, 2016

2016 National Science Foundation Conference Travel Grant, 2016

Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education, Energy Science & Engineering Fellowship, 2015

GEM Consortium Graduate Fellowship, 2015-2016

Ripon College Ethical Leadership Scholar, 2011-2014

Ripon College Roberts Scholarship, 2010-2014

Student Support Services Academic Competitiveness Scholarship, 2010-2014


Google Scholar: David Garcia

Contact Information