Founder / Chief Science & Innovation Officer
I am dedicated to the development of breakthrough technologies and solutions to move the needle in human and environmental health. My expertise spans multiple scientific areas as well as business and legal, allowing me to draw unique connections and create actionable solutions to product and technology needs.
Areas of Expertise:
Nearly 7 years of experience working on and leading biomimicry projects
Applied biomimicry principles to innovative product designs leading to multiple products and patents
Developed biomimicry process that combines biomimicry principles and innovation engineering
Conducted training on biomimicry practices
Over 8 years of experience applying innovation engineering practices to new product development
Developed novel innovation engineering processes to drive solutions
Experienced patent technical expert for chemistry and biological IP
Skilled in front-end design, prototyping, and IP development
Over 5 years of experience working on microbiome projects
Applied prebiotics technology to skincare formulations, resulting in an awarded patent
Contributed to multiple published microbiome studies
Skilled in study design, lab extractions, and bioinformatics
Over 6 years of experience in formulation chemistry for the hygiene market
Formulated products from conception through scale-up, resulting in multiple awarded patents
Developed product fragrance psychology assessment
Skilled in sanitizer, soap, and lotion formulations
University of Florida
Master of Science
Interdisciplinary Ecology - Microbiology & Cell Science
Bachelor of Arts
Biology & Marine Science
University of Cincinnati
Publications and Patents:
Frontiers in Microbiology
A deadly coral disease outbreak has been devastating the Florida Reef Tract since 2014. This disease, stony coral tissue loss disease (SCTLD), affects at least 22 coral species causing the progressive destruction of tissue. The etiological agents responsible for SCTLD are unidentified, but pathogenic bacteria are suspected. Virulence screens of 400 isolates identified four potentially pathogenic strains of Vibrio spp. subsequently identified as V. coralliilyticus. Strains of this species are known coral pathogens; however, cultures were unable to consistently elicit tissue loss, suggesting an opportunistic role. Using an improved immunoassay, the VcpA RapidTest, a toxic zinc-metalloprotease produced by V. coralliilyticus was detected on 22.3% of diseased Montastraea cavernosa (n = 67) and 23.5% of diseased Orbicella faveolata (n = 24). VcpA+ corals had significantly higher mortality rates and faster disease progression. For VcpA– fragments, 21.6% and 33.3% of M. cavernosa and O. faveolata, respectively, died within 21 d of observation, while 100% of similarly sized VcpA+ fragments of both species died during the same period. Further physiological and genomic analysis found no apparent differences between the Atlantic V. coralliilyticus strains cultured here and pathogens from the Indo-Pacific but highlighted the diversity among strains and their immense genetic potential. In all, V. coralliilyticus may be causing coinfections that exacerbate existing SCTLD lesions, which could contribute to the intraspecific differences observed between colonies. This study describes potential coinfections contributing to SCTLD virulence as well as diagnostic tools capable of tracking the pathogen involved, which are important contributions to the management and understanding of SCTLD.
Hand sanitizers with improved aesthetics and skin-conditioning to encourage compliance with hand hygiene guidelines
A.J. Copeland, J.R. Tittl, A. Saud
Hand sanitizers are provided with improved aesthetics and skin-conditioning effects, such that healthcare workers and others subject to high frequency hand hygiene requirements are encouraged to comply with said requirements. The hand sanitizers provide excellent antimicrobial efficacy and skin conditioning benefits that actually increase with increased frequency of use. The sanitizing compositions are hydroalcoholic, and contain a synergistic combination of skin-conditioning agents.
Comparison of Standard Culture-Based Method to Culture-Independent Method for Evaluation of Hygiene Effects on the Hand Microbiome
C. Zapka, J. Leff, J. Henley, J. Tittl, E. De Nardo, M. Butler, R. Griggs, N. Fierer, S. Edmonds-Wilson
The hand microbiome is a critical area of research for diverse fields, such as public health and forensics. The suitability of culture-independent methods for assessing effects of hygiene products on microbiota has not been demonstrated. This is the first controlled laboratory clinical hand study to have compared traditional hand hygiene test methods with newer culture-independent characterization methods typically used by skin microbiologists. This study resulted in recommendations for hand hygiene product testing, development of methods, and future hand skin microbiome research. It also demonstrated the importance of inclusion of skin physiological metadata in skin microbiome research, which is atypical for skin microbiome studies.
Antimicrobial peptide stimulating cleansing composition
K. Tian, J.R. Tittl, V.V. Padyachi
A topical cleansing composition for stimulating the production of antimicrobial peptides on the skin is disclosed. The topical cleansing composition includes an active ingredient comprising one or more of a natural extract and a polypeptide; one or more surfactants; and water. The topical cleansing composition increases the concentration of antimicrobial peptides on skin, as compared to an otherwise identical topical composition without the active ingredient.