Advancing Biosecurity for All

About our group

The Biosecurity and Bioforensics group is part of the Physical and Life Sciences Directorate at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. We focus on solving hard problems and developing new and innovative technologies.

Mission: Deliver intelligence-informed, science-based solutions to problems affecting human health and national security.

Vision: Combine cutting-edge sequencing technologies and bioinformatic approaches to develop data-driven models of infection and medical countermeasures.

Our current thrust areas are in:

  • Bioremediation
  • Metagenomic sequencing
  • Bioinformatic analysis of naturally-occurring communities
  • Advanced genetic engineering technologies such as CRISPR/Cas and how they affect cells and organisms

We work with various federal sponsors to deliver high-quality, science-based solutions to constantly-evolving needs.

In the news

The team

LLNL weapon engineers, biologists deliver critical samples to identify skin proteins left on improvised explosive devices (IEDs)

Read IED article >>

Researchers collect and catalog samples taken from a crash site in New Mexico

LLNL researchers salvage broken arrow samples

Read broken arrow article >>

Rhodotorula yeast

Newly developed tunable, green detergents could be ‘made-to-order’ for industry

Read green detergents article >>

Our capabilities

Our group’s core capabilities are:

  • High-throughput sequencing
  • Bioinformatics
  • Development of novel antimicrobials
  • Bioremediation
  • Advanced genetic engineering technologies

We work with various organizations across LLNL to support our sponsors by solving hard problems and developing new and innovative technologies.

We provide subject matter expertise for the intelligence community of potential dual-use technologies, and we partner closely with the Biosecurity Center in Global Security.

A venn diagram showing the overlap between the group, the biosecurity center, and the intelligence community S&T

Our team


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Chris Bailey

Staff Scientist

 bailey38 [at]


Nicole Collette

Staff Scientist

 collette2 [at]


 Read Nicole’s bio

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Todd Corzett

Staff Scientist

 tcorzett [at]


Matt Lyman

Group Leader, BioSecurity & BioForensics

 lyman2 [at]


 Read Matt’s bio

Stephanie Malfatti

Staff Scientist

 malfatti3 [at]


Wes Overton

Deputy Group Leader, BioSecurity and BioForensics

 overton2 [at]


 Read Wes’s bio

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Roxanna Pignolet

Staff Scientist

 pignolet1 [at]

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Bonnee Rubinfeld

Research Scientist

 rubinfeld1 [at]


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Edwin A. Saada

Staff Scientist

 saada1 [at]

Salustra Urbin

Staff Scientist

 urbin2 [at]


Lisa Vergez

Staff Scientist

 vergez1 [at]


Our publications

Below is a list of some of our publications.


Lyman MG, Urbin S, Strout C, Rubinfeld B. Book Chapter. The Oleaginous Red Yeast Rhodotorula/Rhodosporidium: A Factory for Industrial Bioproducts. Yeasts in Biotechnology. IntechOpen.

Park DM, Overton KW, Jiao Y. The UzcRS two-component system in Caulobacter crescentus integrates regulatory input from diverse auxiliary regulators. Molecular Microbiology 111(3):678-699.


Lyman MG, Rubinfeld B, Leif R, Mulcahy H, Dugan L, and Souza B. Rhodotorula taiwanensis MD1149 Produces Hypoacetylated PEFA Compounds with Increased Surface Activity Compared to Rhodotorula babjevae MD1169. PLoS ONE 13(1): e0190373.


Park DM, Overton KW, Liou MJ, Jiao Y. Identification of a U/Zn/Cu responsive global regulatory two-component system in Caulobacter crescentus. Molecular Microbiology 104(1):46-64.

Tkavc R, Grichenko OE, Matrosova VY, Gostincar C, Volpe RP, Klimenkova P, Gaidamakova EK, Zhou CE, Steward BJ, Lyman MG, Malfatti SA, Rubinfeld B, Singh J, Dalgard CL, Gunde-Cimerman N, Dugan LL, Daly MJ. Prospects for Fungal Bioremediation of Acidic Radioactive Waste Sites: Characterization and Genome Sequence of Rhodotorula taiwanensis MD1149. Front. Microbiol 8:2528.


Grady SL, Malfatti SA, Gunasekera TS, Daley BK, Lyman MG, Striebich RC, Mathew MB, Zhou CL, Ruiz ON, Dugan LC. A Comprehensive Multi-Omics Approach Uncovers Adaptations for Growth and Survival of Pseudomonas aeruginosa on n-alkanes. BMC Genomics 18:334.

Overton KW, Park DM, Yung MC, Dohnalkova AC, Smit J, Jiao Y. Two outer membrane proteins contribute to Caulobacter crescentus cellular fitness by preventing intracellular S-layer protein accumulation. Appl Environ Microbiol 82:6961–6972.


Yung MC, Park DM, Overton KW, Blow MJ, Hoover CA, Smit J, Murray SR, Ricci DP, Christen B, Bowman GR, Jiao Y. Transposon mutagenesis paired with deep sequencing of Caulobacter crescentus under uranium stress reveals genes essential for detoxification and stress tolerance. J Bacteriol 197:3160-72.

Fischer NO, Weilhammer DR, Dunkle A, Thomas C, Hwang M, Corzett M, Lychak C, Urbin S, Collette NC, Chang JC, Loots G, Rasley A, Blanchette C. Evaluation of Nanolipoprotein Particles (NLPs) as an In Vivo Delivery Platform. PLoS ONE 9(3): e93342.