Karen McDonald Ph.D.
Professor, Associate Dean & Faculty Director
Dr. Karen McDonald is a Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, currently serves as the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies in the College of Engineering at UC Davis, and is the Faculty Director for the UC Davis ADVANCE Program. Dr. McDonald is the Principal Investigator (PI) of several government and non-government funded projects and serves as the PI and Director of Collaborative Research and Education in Agricultural Technologies and Engineering (CREATE), a National Science Foundation funded interdisciplinary graduate training program in applied sciences. Dr. McDonald has extensive experience in production, scale-up, purification and characterization of heterologous proteins using transgenic plant cell cultures for use in bioreactor engineering, semicontinuous culture operation, techno-economic analyses, optimization of culture conditions, and on-line methods for characterization of plant cell suspension cultures. Her innovative research over the past 30 years has generated several novel patents in plant-based expression of recombinant proteins with practical applications in human therapeutics, subunit vaccines, biopolymers and industrial enzymes for biofuels application.