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Faculty Profile

Scott Lenaghan

Assistant Professor

Cell Biology


Food Safety and Processing Bldg.
2600 River Dr.
RM 102
Knoxville, TN 37996



Ph.D. Biological Sciences, Auburn University – 2008
B.S. Marine Science and Biology, University of Miami – 2000

Interest Areas and Research

My research and expertise cover a wide-range of disciplines, with a primary focus on engineering biological systems, biomaterials, and devices that utilize cutting-edge synthetic biology tools and approaches. A goal of my research is to expand the current definition of synthetic biology beyond molecular biology tools, translating advances into synthetic/engineered constructs, such as micro/nanorobots, diagnostic devices, and smart materials. In addition to my research, I currently teaches a course on molecular parasitology to introduce students to underrepresented pathogens that cause significant damage to the overall quality of life of humans and animals. My research has been funded by NSF, DARPA, ARPA-E, UTRF, the Keck Initiative, Morris Animal Foundation, Winn Feline Foundation, Office of Naval Research, and Army Research Office.

Click here to visit my lab webpage

Selected Publications

Occhialini, A., A. A. Piatek, A. C. Pfotenhauer*, T. P. Frazier, C. N. Stewart, Jr., and S. Lenaghan. 2019. MoChlo: A Versatile, Modular Cloning Toolbox for Chloroplast Biotechnology. Plant Physiology.

Burris, J. N., S. Lenaghan, and C. N. Stewart, Jr.. 2018. Climbing plants: attachment adaptations and bioinspired innovations. Plant Cell Reports, DOI:10.1007/s00299-017-2240-y.

Lenaghan, S., and C. N. Stewart, Jr.. 2018. An automated protoplast transformation system. Methods in Molecular Biology, vol 1919.

Piatek, A. A., S. Lenaghan, and C. N. Stewart, Jr.. 2018. Advanced editing of the nuclear and plastid genomes in plants. Plant Science, 273: 42-49.

Rao, X., X. Chen, H. Shen, Q. Ma, G. Li, Y. Tang, M. Pena, W. York, T. Frazier*, S. Lenaghan, X. Xiao, F. Chen, and R. A. Dixon. 2018. Gene regulatory networks for lignin biosynthesis in switchgrass (Panicum virgatum). Plant Biotechnology Journal.

Schindel, H. S., A. A. Piatek, C. N. Stewart, Jr., and S. Lenaghan. 2018. The plastid genome as a chassis for synthetic biology-enabled metabolic engineering: players in gene expression. Plant Cell Reports, 37: 1419-1429.

Grant, J. N., J. N. Burris, C. N. Stewart, Jr., and S. Lenaghan. 2017. Improved tissue culture conditions for the emerging C4 model Panicum hallii. BMC Biotechnology, 17:39.

Rempe, C. S., K. P. Burris, S. Lenaghan, and C. N. Stewart, Jr.. 2017. The potential of systems biology to discover antibacterial mechanisms of plant phenolic. Frontiers in Microbiology, 8:422.

Rempe, C.S., S. Lenaghan, K. P. Burris, and C. N. Stewart, Jr.. 2017. Metabolomic analysis of the mechanism of action of yerba mate extract on Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium. Metabolomics, 13:16.

Burris, K. P., E. M. Dlugosz, A. G. Collins, C. N. Stewart, Jr., and S. Lenaghan. 2016. Development of a rapid, low-cost protoplast transfection system for switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.). Plant Cell Reports.

Tang, D., L. Huang, R. J. Daniels-Mullholland, E. M. Dlugosz, S. Lenaghan, E. Morin, and W. He. 2016. Compositional tuning of epoxide-polyetheramine 'click' reaction toward cytocompatible, cationic hydrogel particles with antimicrobial and DNA binding activities. Acta Biomaterialia.

Lenaghan, S., S. Nwandu-Vincent, B. E. Reese, and M. Zhang. 2014. Unlocking the secrets of multi-flagellated propulsion: drawing insights from Tritrichomonas foetus. Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 11(93): 20130-20140.

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