Associate Professor, Fungal biology and parasitism
481B Kottman Hall
2021 Coffey Road
Areas of Expertise
- Genomics / bioinformatics
- Signal transduction circuits
- Fungal molecular biology
- Fungal biology and parasitism
- 2000 Ph.D Plant Pathology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
- 1995 MS Plant Pathology, Clemson University, Clemson, SC
- 1992 BS Plant Sciences, Penn State University, State College, PA
Dr. Mitchell got his B.Sc. in Plant Sciences at Penn State University, after which he headed to Clemson University for a M.S. in Plant Pathology. He got his Ph.D. at North Carolina State University in Plant Pathology in 2000. His first post graduate position was as the Senior Researcher for the newly created Fungal Genomics Laboratory at North Carolina State. This post was followed shortly by a promotion to Research Assistant Professor in the Center for Integrated Fungal Research at the same university. The overriding goal of his program is to understand fungal biology and parasitism. This work spans the realms of basic biology, tool and technology development, functional and evolutionary genomics, and the application of molecular biological tools in support of applied research.
Studies are primarily done on two model fungal systems; Magnaporthe oryzae – the causal agent of rice blast disease, and Alternaria brassicicola – a major leaf black spot pathogen of cruciferous plants. In support of more applied research, this lab works closely with scientist studying several fungi important to agronomic crops and grasses. With regard to biomass conversion and bio-based products, fungi have long been used to perform the difficult work of converting complex plant carbohydrates into basic sugars. Dr. Mitchell works to use bioinformatic and genome based tools to identify and clone hydrolytic enzymes from plant pathogens and mobilize them into production grade fungal isolates for industrial applications.