Patricia Slininger

National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, USDA-ARS

Patricia Slininger
Speaker Bio
Patricia J. Slininger
Research Chemical Engineer, Bioenergy Research, National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, USDA-ARS, Peoria, IL; 309-681-6286; pat.slininger@ars.usda.gov
Education
Ph.D. Biochemical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, December 1988
M.S. Chemical Engineering, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, Spring 1980
B.A. Chemistry, Augustana College, Rock Island, IL, May 1977
Experience
1980-1988, Research Chemical Engineer, Bioconversion Unit, NCAUR, USDA-ARS-MWA, Peoria, IL.
1988-2001, Supervisory Chemical Engineer, Lead Scientist, Fermentation Biochemistry Unit, NCAUR.
2001-2009, Supervisory Chemical Engineer, Research Leader, Crop BioProtection Unit, NCAUR
2009-present, Research Chemical Engineer, Lead Scientist, Bioenergy Research Unit, NCAUR
Accomplishments
Dr. Slininger conducts fundamental and applied interdisciplinary research to develop new biological products for crop protection and bioenergy.
Early in her career with ARS, Dr. Slininger became internationally recognized for her pioneering work with Pachysolen tannophilus and later Scheffersomyces (Pichia) stipitis that opened up a new field of research aimed at developing a yeast-based fermentation of hemicellulose-derived pentoses to ethanol, a process key to the early development of the commercial lignocellulosic biomass to ethanol industry.
Her recognition further broadened in the area of renewable resource utilization as she patented the microbial conversion of renewable glycerine to an acrylic acid precursor that can serve as a building block for plastics, paints, and many other products historically derived from dwindling petroleum reserves.
For 10 years, Dr. Slininger led a research team which integrated biochemical engineering, microbiology, molecular biology, plant pathology, entomology, and chemistry expertise to advance the mass production and formulation of biological agents for pest control and to develop stress tolerant microbes for production of biofuels and bioproducts.
In the last ten years, her research has been recognized for the following discoveries in microbial strain and bioprocess development: cocultured Pseudomonas strains for superior efficacy and consistency for biocontrol of maladies of postharvest potatoes; the first evolved desiccation tolerant Pseudomonas strains for use as biocontrol agents; the first evolved hydrolyzate-tolerant native pentose-fermenting yeast capable of producing economically recoverable ethanol from lignocellulose; and novel oleaginous strains applied in a strategic process for doubling lipid accumulations compared with previous reports on microbial lipid from biomass.
Dr. Slininger's research in the biochemical engineering area has been documented in over 120 publications (including journal articles, patents, invited reviews for journals and books) and over 90 presentations at international meetings/workshops.