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.

Mengfei Lin (Emma)
Visiting Ph.D Student
Emma is a visiting Ph.D student from South China Agricultural University. Emma worked on bioinformatics and tested TPS genes in Arabidopsis for her Ph.D study in China. Currently, she is involved in multiple projects including GA2OX gene in lettuce and overexpression genes in Petunia. She will also continue testing TPS genes in Arabidopsis using CRISPR technology. 
DiYing Xiang (Daisy)
Visiting Scholar
Daisy is a visiting scholar from Hebei Agricultural University. She is an expert in ornamental plants breeding. She is testing post harvest, promote flowering, and delay flowering in foliage plants using LED light in combination with different chemicals. 
Dominic Vu
Intern
Dominic is an intern from Valencia's Biotechnology program. He has completed his internship and gained many lab skills including genotyping, PCR, gel electrophoresis, and Tissue culture. Currently, he is focusing on his project on propagation of Hop under LED light while learning how to do plants Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. 
Yuvraj Khamare (UV)
Intern
UV is currently working on a "Hydroponic" project with Matt. He will be testing different wavelengths of L.E.D light and their effects on vegetables. He also maintains our tissue culture and greenhouses. He likes to collect coins from different countries and he enjoys gardening.  
Frank Lian
Ph.D Student
Frank joined our lab Fall 2018 and he is currently taking classes in Gainesville. 
Amaris Aramanda
Intern
Amaris is an intern from Valencia's Biotechnology program. She is interested in using plants for biofuel and she hopes to gain lab experience here for her future study.   
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!