In this 2 part series, we bring together experts in the cutting-edge applications of droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) and real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR). These guest speakers from industry and academia describe how they integrate these advanced PCR techniques into their research and pedagogical strategies for incorporating these powerful and engaging topics into your class.
In Part 1 Joshua Steele Ph.D. from the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project presents on uses of advanced PCR such as real-time and droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) in his water quality research, Abiodun Bodunrin Ph.D. from the DBG at Bio-Rad provides an introduction to the advanced PCR technologies and applications used in Dr Steele's research, and Betsy Boedeker from St. Louis Community College discusses strategies for introducing these applications to students.
Dr. Joshua Steele is a microbiologist specializing in environmental microbiology, specifically identifying and tracking pathogens and naturally-occurring microbes in wastewater, coastal ocean water, and coastal watersheds using cutting edge molecular techniques (next generation sequencing and digital PCR). His research focuses on developing methods to detect and track human-associated bacteria and viruses and identify their sources in stormwater and coastal water, developing and standardizing methods for wastewater-based epidemiology of pathogens including SARS-CoV-2, applying molecular techniques to track antibiotic resistance genes in wastewater and the environment, and using bioinformatics tools to link eDNA from natural populations to ecosystem health. He serves on the Wastewater Based Epidemiology Committee of the California Water Quality Monitoring Council. While at the California Institute of Technology, he focused on applying next-generation sequencing, metagenomics, metaproteomics, and biogeochemical rate measurements to study deep-sea methane seep microbial communities.
He received his Ph.D. in biological oceanography from the University of Southern California and his B.S. in molecular biology from the University of California, San Diego. He joined SCCWRP in January 2014.
Abiodun Bodunrin is an Application Scientist in the DBG at Bio-Rad where he works to develop assays for applications in Oncology research, pathogen detection in wastewater and infectious diseases. As an Application Scientist, He works with marketing to develop data and literature using ddPCR. Abi is also involved in new product development process in collaboration with Marketing, Business Development and R&D. He graduated with a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Houston where he worked on characterizing universal stress proteins implicated in Dormancy regulation in a gram-positive bacterium. He got his Master of Science in Biotechnology from West Virginia State University. He enjoys long walks in nature in his free time.
Ms. Boedeker is a molecular biologist with nearly 33 years of experience in both academia and industry. She started her teaching career in the biotechnology program of St. Louis Community College, where she designed and taught a specialized course in forensics, and then worked as the Coordinator of the BioBench Contract Research Organization. Now the District Director for the Center for Plant and Life Sciences, she has developed one of the more popular advanced courses for the program called Quantitative PCR Methods, which includes training on droplet digital technologies along with expression analysis using qPCR. Additionally, she is the PI on an NSF grant, generating curriculum in genome editing with input from local industry.