Staff Biographies

Nichole Calhoun, A.S.


Ruth Davis, M.S.

Ruth H. Davis is the team leader for the Monoclonal Antibody Facility.  Her educational qualifications include degrees of Master of Medical Microbiology, UGA, and Bachelor of Animal Science, with concentration in microbiology, UGA.  She has over 25 years of laboratory work experience in state, federal, and private laboratories.  Her expertise includes bacterial and viral diagnostics, poultry virology and vaccinology, quality assurance and control for veterinary vaccines and biologics, bio-development of veterinary vaccines, and research and medical writing for web content. Ruth leads the Quality Assurance Team as the QA Manager at the BFF and she has over 15 years of experience managing the UGA Monoclonal Antibody Facility.

Ruihua Dong, M.S.

Ruihua Dong is a Research Professional II at BFF. She has been working at the University of Georgia since 2002 and joined the Monoclonal Antibody Facility in 2005.  She has expertise in genetic and molecular analyses of transgenic organisms, and monoclonal antibody production. She holds an M.S. in Biology, and has an extensive background in cell and tissue cultures, genetic transformation, nucleic acid manipulation, PCR, in situ mRNA hybridization, protein expression and purification, ELISA, Western blotting, and immunofluorescence localization. Ms. Dong has received several awards and co-authored 8 peer-reviewed articles.

Melinda Eades, M.Ed.

Melinda Eades is the Business Manager for the BFF. She is responsible for the overall project management and administrative functions of the BFF. She also facilitates marketing, event-planning, client relations, purchasing, initial contracting, accounts receivable and accounts payable. Melinda is also on the Quality Assurance Team for BFF. She has been with the University of Georgia since 2011 and has an extensive background in administrative leadership, communications, project management, quality assurance, marketing, and customer service. Melinda holds a B.S. from the University of Houston and a M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration from Georgia Southern University.

Claire Edwards, Ph.D.

Dr. Claire Edwards is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the BFF.  She received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Trinity University and a PhD in Microbiology from the University of Georgia.  She worked as a Research Scientist at a biotechnology company in Gainesville, FL for 2 years before returning to Athens to work at the BFF.  Dr. Edwards has experience culturing bacteria, yeast, filamentous fungi and algae in shake flasks and bioreactors, as well as, monitoring fermentations through GC and HPLC analysis.   Furthermore, she has experience in manipulating cell metabolism through genetic engineering of bacteria.

Gabriel Eschedor, B.S.

Gabriel Eschedor is a Laboratory Technician at the BFF. He has a B.S. degree in Genetics and Biology from the University of Georgia. He has prior experience with PCR, genotypic analyses, molecular cloning, fluorescence microscopy, and bacteria mediated transfection of plants. He currently works on fermentation process development and analysis. This includes small scale fermentations using DASGIP 1L and analyses via HPLC or GC.

Ron Garrison, B.S.

Mr. Garrison graduated from UGA in 1985 with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science. He has 25 years of experience in fermentation including large scale and small scale, industrial and academic, aerobic, anaerobic, and extremophile growth. Mr. Garrison is experienced in fermentor design, maintenance, and control and is also responsible for filtration, concentration of cultures, proteins, and implementation of filtration and downstream processing protocols. In addition, he has extensive experience in fed-batch development and media optimization for bacteria and yeasts.

Nancy Garrison,  A.S.

Ms. Garrison graduated from Athens Technical College with an Associate Degree in the Research Laboratory Program.  She has 30 years of experience in microbiology and fermentation including experience with operation of 5L, 32L, 100L, 250L, 400L, 600L, and 800L fermentors growing anaerobic, aerobic, thermophilic bacteria, yeast, and fungi.  In addition, Ms. Garrison also has experience with filtration, diafiltration, centrifugation and specialized experience in the growth of difficult to culture extremophiles.

Melissa Hill, A.A.S.

Ms. Hill has an Associate of Applied Science in Biotechnology from Athens Technical College. Following a successful internship in the UGA Monoclonal Antibody Facility (MAF), she was offered a position as a Research Technician III. Currently, Ms. Hill is seeking her Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology at the University of Georgia while working full time for the MAF and raising a family. Her chief responsibilities at the BFF include antibody production and purification as well as affinity testing for in-process and final product release production.

Michelle Lewis, Ph.D.

Dr. Michelle Lewis leads the cell culture and protein purification services, and is on the Quality Assurance Team for the BFF.  Dr. Lewis received two B.S. degrees in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Western Kentucky University and her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Georgia.  Previously, Dr. Lewis worked as co-director of the Vanderbilt High-throughput Screening Facility. She has co-authored 33 peer-reviewed publications, as well as research grants and equipment grants.  Dr. Lewis has more than two decades of experience in protein purification and cell culture, as well as hands-on work with fermentation and monoclonal antibodies.

Zachary Meyers, A.S.

Tariq Taylor, M.B.B.

Tariq Taylor is a Research Professional at the Bioexpression and Fermentation Facility.  A recent graduate of the University of Georgia’s Master of Biomanufacturing and Bioprocessing program, Tariq focuses on small-scale fermentation process development and analysis. His experience is primarily with microbial fermentation for metabolite, recombinant protein production using shake flasks, DASGIP 1L, and DCI-Biolafitte 5L fermentation systems. He also assists with downstream processes, analytical methods, and purification methods using HPLC and FPLC.

Jonathan Wing, B.S.