Current Lab Members

Alfred Huo (Ph.D)

Principal Investigator

Dr. Huo joined UF in early 2017. Currently, he is an assistant professor at the Mid-Florida Research and Education Center at the University of Florida. His current research focuses on the breeding of horticultural and ornamental plants including lettuce, tomato, snapdragons, begonia, and petunia.  His lab applies various approaches including CRISPR genome editing, transposon mutagenesis, genomic sequencing to these plants for improving abiotic stress tolerance. 

Matthew Creech

Biological Scientist

Matthew is the chief of this lab.He is in charge of chemical inventory, supplies purchasing, management of greenhouse and growth chambers, lab safety training, etc. He has years of experience in grape tissue culture and regeneration. He is a plant lover and trying to grow different exotic plants in the lab and in his own private nursery. He likes fishing, but not dozens of Koi fishes in his own pond.

Frank Lian
Ph.D. Student
Frank joined our lab in Fall 2018 and he is currently working on his project for Snapdragon transposon and develop protocols for snapdragon genetic transformation. 
Julian Ginori
Ph.D. Student
Julian is working on Heat tolerant Begonia breeding. 
Chi Nguyen
Ph.D. Student
Chi is pursuing her Ph.D. degree in plant science, with a focus on understanding the effect of interactions between DOG-1, AHG1, and microRNAs on regulating seed dormancy and flowering of lettuce in responses to environmental cues. The project entails the development of different vectors and transgenic lines to determine the genetic relationships among the genes. ​She enjoys fishing and camping as well as tasting new food. 
Guiluan Wang (Grace), Ph.D.
Visiting Scholar/Postdoc
Grace joined the lab in the summer 2019. As part of her research program, Grace is developing host-silencing trapper plants to be used in biological control of whitefly in nursery plant production. She is also developing DNA-free gene-editing method for horticultural crops. 
Tao Jiang , Ph.D​.
Post Doc
Tao Joined the lab in Spring 2020. Tao is focused on examining lettuce genetics and molecular breeding. Jiang’s research specifically focuses on using an integrated approach to understand the temperature effect on lettuce seed germination and flowering, dissecting molecular mechanisms underlying temperature response of lettuce during flower and seed germination, and leaf senescence of multiple plant species. 
Dr. Manish Tiwari
Post Doc. 
Manish joined the lab in the Winter of 2020. Manish will investigate the role(s) of small RNAs as intermediaries in maternal environment effects on tomato seed quality. He is going to use a combined approach of the transgenic and nanoparticle-based application of small RNAs for functional characterization of their role during tomato reproductive biology. 
Alex Moriz-Long
Alex joined the lab in Spring 2020. He is currently working on greenhouse management and tissue culture. He is also working on plant transformations and carbon nanoparticle rooting studies.