Current Lab Members

Alfred Huo (Ph.D)

Principal Investigator

Dr. Huo joined UF in early 2017. Currently, he is an assistant professor at Mid-Florida Research and Education Center at University of Florida. His current research focuses on breeding of horticultural and ornamental plants including lettuce, grapes, snapdragons, begonia and petunia. His lab applies a new technology called CRISPR-Cas9 and CIRSPR-Cpf1 to these plants for improvement of their quality. CRISPR-Cas9 or CRISPR-Cpf1 can cause genomic editing for knocking out or knocking in genes etc. and can expedite breeding programs that usually require a long term of efforts. His lab also use a type of temperature-inducible transposon Tam3 for mutagenesis of snapdragon, and use transposon-tagging to look for mutations underlying different mutants.  In addition, using a lettuce recombinant inbred lines (RILs) mapping population, his lab collaborates with UC-Davis to look for seed-related QTLs.

Dr. Huo originally came from China.  He finished his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in horticulture in China before he moved to U.S. for his Ph.D degree in seed development at University of Georgia; then He joined Dr. Kent Bradford lab for postdoctoral research on lettuce seed germination/ dormancy. His current and previous research projects have been sponsored by USDA-NIFA, Rijk Zwann Vegetable B.V. and Florida local agricultural production companies.

His hobbies include cooking, watching movies, practicing yoga.


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 experiences 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 Fall 2018 and he is currently working on his project for Snapdragon transposon and transformation on snapdragon.  
Julian Ginori
Ph.D Student
Julian is our newest Ph.D Student, he received a PBGI fellowship to work on Heat tolerant Begonia. Welcome Julian!
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), PhD
Visiting Scholar
Grace joined the lab in 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.
Tao Jiang , PhD
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 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. 
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. 
Dr. Manish Tiwari
Post Doc. 
Manish Joined the lab in Winters 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 transgenic and nanoparticle-based application of small RNAs for functional characterization of their role during tomato reproductive biology.