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Justin Biffinger

Assistant Professor; Co-director of Graduate Studies in Chemistry

Full-Time Faculty

College of Arts and Sciences: Chemistry


Email: Justin Biffinger
Phone: 937-229-2849
SC 428B


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


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.

Visit the Biffinger Research Group website >

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 I
  • CHM 124: General Chemistry II
  • CHM 201: Quantitative Analysis
  • CHM 555: Biocatalysis: Fundamentals and Application

Professional Affiliations

  • 2019: Treasurer, American Chemical Society - Dayton Section
  • 2019: Sustainability Scholar, Hanley Sustainability Institute
  • 2017: Assistant Professor, University of Dayton, Chemistry Department
  • 2008-17: Research Chemist, US Naval Research Laboratory (Promoted to NP IV January 2015)
  • 2006-08: National Research Council Post-Doctoral Associate, US Naval Research Laboratory

Research Interests

  • Synthesis of polyester, polyether, polyurethanes and pH sensitive polymer alternatives
  • 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
  • Transcriptional profiling of bacterial responses to abiotic-biotic interfaces
  • Chemical Interactions between abiotic-polymeric interfaces

Recent Funding

  • Principal Investigator, SERDP, Retrogressive Approach to Determining Fungal Biodegradation Responses and Mechanisms to Polyurethane-based Coatings, Collaboration with AFRL and NRL. $2.06M. FY20-24
  • Co-Principal Investigator, 6.1 DARPA, “Carbonate Fixation from the Deep Marine Biosphere”, $186k, FY18-19
  • Principal Investigator, 6.1 SERDP SEED, “Assignment of Direct vs. Indirect Mechanisms Used by Fungi for Polyurethane Coating Biodegradation”, total FY17: $200k

Recent Selected Publications

Theberge, A., Alsabia, S., Mortensen, C., Blair, A., Wendel, N., Biffinger, JC., "Controlling Bioluminescence Intensity from Shewanella woodyi with Soluble Electron Acceptors" 2019 to Luminescence, in press.

Hung, CS., Barlow, DE., Varaljay, VA., Drake, CA., Crouch, AL., Russell, JN., Nadeau, LJ., Crookes-Goodson, WJ., Biffinger, JC., “The biodegradation of polyester and polyester polyurethane coatings using Papiliotrema laurentii”., International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation., 2019, 139, 34-43.

Tatinclaux, M., Gregoire, K., Leininger, A., Biffinger, J., Tender, L., Ramirez, M., Torrents, A., Kjellerup, B. V. “Electricity generation from wastewater using a floating air cathode microbial fuel cell.” Water-Energy Nexus., 2018, 1(1), 97-103.

Haridas, D., Biffinger, J., Boyd, T. J., Fulmer, P. A., Hamdan, L. J., Fitzgerald, L. A. “Laboratory growth of denitrifying water column microbial consortia from deep-sea shipwrecks in the northern Gulf of Mexico [version 3; referees: 2 approved]”. 2018, 6, 1834.

Waters, JC., Nixon, A., Dwyer, M., Biffinger, JC., Lee, K., “Developing elite Neurospora crassa strains for cellulosic ethanol production using fungal breeding” 2017, J. Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology, 44(8) 1137-1144.

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

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.