Yuri Gorby graduated with honors and a Bachelors of Science degree in biology from Bethany College, in his hometown of Bethany, WV in 1983. He began his scientific career in microbial physiology as a PhD student at the University of New Hampshire, where he investigated proteins and environmental controls involved in production of single domain magnetite particles by magnetotactic bacteria. Continuing his interests in metal-microbe interactions, Yuri was awarded a National Research Council Post Doctoral Fellowship in 1989 to test his hypothesis that some bacteria could use uranium as an electron acceptor. As a NRC Fellow at the US Geological Survey, Yuri first demonstrated that metal-reducing bacteria could reduce soluble U(VI) to the common uranium mineral, uraninite. Yuri accepted a second Post Doctoral Fellowship with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest Laboratory in Richland, WA to develop a more fundamental understanding of microbial uranium reduction and its potential for remediating contaminated ground water and legacy wastes produced during the Cold War. From 1993 to 2006, Yuri served as a Senior Research Scientist at PNNL where he explored the biological transformation of a broad range of heavy metals and radionuclides. He was the founder and director of the Microbial Cell Dynamics Laboratory at PNNL from 2001 until 2006, where he advanced the role of controlled cultivation as an important component of ‘systems biology’. Yuri is a pioneer in the emerging field of “electromicrobiology” and has been heavily cited for his publications on electrically conductive protein filaments called ‘bacterial nanowires’. He established the first Electromicrobiology Group during his 5 years with the J. Craig Venter Laboratory in San Diego, CA, and was a founding member of the Electromicrobiology Group with his colleagues at the University of Southern California.
Ph.D. University of New Hampshire