Justin Biffinger

Contact Information

Justin Biffinger

Assistant Professor

  • Full-Time Faculty


In 1999, Justin joined the Prof. Stephen G. DiMagno research group at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he received a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry with a focus on carbon-hydrogen bond activation using modified metalloporphyrins.  After completing his graduate work in 2005, he received a National Research Council Post-doctoral Associateship to work in the Dr. Bradley R. Ringeisen group at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC.  He worked within the Biomaterials and Biofabrication section at Naval Research Laboratory for 9 years after his post-doctoral associateship on several bioenergy and biomaterial programs as a Senior Research Chemist before coming to the University of Dayton in 2017. 

Currently, his research efforts are focused on understanding fundamental chemical responses and reactivity at biotic and abiotic interfaces both in the environment and manipulated in the laboratory.  His research programs have applications in the biofuels, energy, sustainability, environmental chemistry, and green chemistry areas.

Faculty Perspective

The University of Dayton is the ideal learning environment to couple fundamental research with academic excellence in order to prepare students for the future.

Courses Taught

  • CHM 123 General Chemistry
  • CHM 201 Quantitative Analysis


  • Ph.D., Organic Chemistry, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE., 2005
  • M.S., Inorganic Chemistry, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA., 1999
  • B.A. (with honors), Biochemistry, Ithaca College., Ithaca, NY., 1997

Research Interests

  • Interdisciplinary but primarily lie in the fields of Biochemistry and Material Science
  • Development of electrochemically tunable biotemplated fungal electrodes for energy applications
  • Demonstration of mechanisms and techniques for the biodegradation of polyurethane coatings by prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms
  • Fundamental and applied studies of bacterial and extremophile extracellular electron transfer to insoluble metal nanoparticles to drive organic chemistry transformations
  • Manipulating Dark Chemoautotrophic Carbon Fixation Mechanisms in the laboratory

Research, Sponsored

  • 2017:  SERDP SEED Grant, WP-2745,  “Assignment of Direct vs. Indirect Mechanisms Used by Fungi for Polyurethane Coating Biodegradation. PI.  in collaboration with Co-PI Dr. Wendy Goodson (AFRL WPAFB). 

Selected Publications

Cusick, KD., Dale, JD., Fitzgerald, LA., Little, BJ., Biffinger, JC., “Adaptation to copper stress influences biofilm formation in Alteromonas macleodii”, Biofouling, 2017, 33(6), 505-519.

Waters, J.C., Nixon, A., Dwyer, M., Biffinger, J.C., Lee, K., “Developing elite Neurospora crassa strains for cellulosic ethanol production using fungal breeding”, 2017, Journal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology, in press, DOI: 10.1007/s10295-017-1941-0 .

Cusick, KD., Dale, J., Little, BJ., Biffinger, JC., “Draft Genome Sequences of four Alteromonas macleodii strains isolated from copper coupons and grown long-term at elevated copper levels” Genome Announcements, 2016, 4(6):e01311-16. doi:10.1128/genomeA.01311-16.

Huggins, TM., Whitely, JM., Love, CT., Lee, K., Lee, S., Ren, ZJ., Biffinger, JC., “Controlled growth of nanostructured biotemplates with cobalt and nitrogen co-doping as a binder-less lithium-ion battery anode”, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2016, 8(40), 26868-26877.

Cusick, KD, Lin, B., Malanoski, AP, Strycharz-Glaven, S., Cockrell-Zugell, A., Fitzgerald, LA, Cramer, JA, Boyd, TJ., Biffinger, JC., “Comparative Transcriptome Analysis of Thermus scotoductus SA-01 Cultured with Dielectric or Convective Heating”, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 2016, 82(20), 6233-6246.

Zingarelli, S, Hung, CS., Nadeau, LJ., Biffinger, JC., Drake, CA., Crouch, AL., Barlow, DE., Russell, Jr., JN., and Crookes-Goodson, WJ., “Carbon catabolite repression and polyurethane degradation in Pseudomonas protegens strain Pf-5”. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 2016, 82(20), 6080-6090.

Barlow, DE., Biffinger, JC., Cockrell-Zugell, AC., Lo, M., Kjoller, K., Cook, D., Lee, K., Pehrsson,PE., Crookes-Goodson,WJ., Hung, C., Nadeau, LJ., Russell, Jr. JN., “The importance of correcting for tip to sample dissipative variations in AFM-IR spectroscopy: AFM-IR of dried bacteria on a viscoelastic polyurethane film”. Analyst, 2016, 141, 4848-4854.

Huggins, TM., Haeger, A., Biffinger, JC., Ren, ZJ., “Granular Biochar Compared with Activated Carbon for Wastewater Treatment and Resource Recovery”, Water Research, 2016, 94, 225-232.

Huggins, TM., Latorre, A., Biffinger, JC., Ren, Z., “Biochar Based Microbial Fuel Cell for Enhanced Wastewater Treatment and Nutrient Recovery” Sustainability, 2016, 8, 169.

Cusick, KD., Fitzgerald, LA., Cockrell, AL., Biffinger, JC., “Selection and Evaluation of Reference Genes for Reverse Transcription-Quantitative PCR Expression Studies in a Thermophilic Bacterium Grown under Different Culture Conditions” PLoS One, 2015, (10)6, e0131015.

Biffinger, JC, Barlow, DE, Cockrell, AL., Cusick, KD., Hervey, WJ., Fitzgerald, LA., Nadeau, LJ., Hung, CS., Crookes-Goodson, WJ., Russell Jr., JN, “The applicability of Impranil®DLN for gauging the biodegradation of polyurethanes” Polymer Degradation and Stability, 2015, 195, 147-153.