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Calvin Henard

Molecular Microbiologist | 303-275-3177

Research Interests

Dr. Calvin A. Henard joined NREL in the spring of 2014 as a postdoctoral researcher, and is currently a Staff Scientist in the applied biology group. Calvin utilizes his expertise in molecular biology and microbial genetics to develop algal, yeast, and bacterial biocatalyst for conversion of renewable substrates to biofuels and bioproducts. Before joining NREL, Calvin performed two years of postdoctoral training at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas, evaluating virulence mechanisms of the intracellular protozoan parasite Leishmania. His graduate work at the University of Colorado delineated the role of the nutrient starvation response in Salmonella's ability to co-opt and subvert host immune responses.

  • Methane biocatalysis to fuels and chemicals

  • Methanogenesis and anaerobic digestion of lignocellulosic biomass and waste streams

  • Advanced genetic tool development for industrial microbes

  • Isolation of environmental microbes with industrially promising characteristics

  • The role of nitric oxide (NO) signaling in algal lipid accumulation

Areas of Expertise

  • Biocatalysis
    • Metabolic engineering
    • Strain development
    • Protein engineering
    • Recombineering
    • Flux analysis
    • Fermentation optimization
    • Metabolomics
    • Genetic tool development
  • C1 metabolism
  • Bacterial physiology
  • Bacterial stress responses
  • Prokaryotic transcriptional regulation
  • Redox signaling


  • Ph.D., Microbiology, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, 2012

  • B.S., Molecular Biology, Tarleton State University, 2006

Professional Experience

  • Scientist III, NREL, National Bioenergy Center (NBC), 2016–present

  • Postdoctoral Researcher, NREL, NBC, 20142016

  • Postdoctoral Scholar, University of Texas Medical Branch, 20122014

  • Graduate Student Fellow, University of Colorado, Department of Microbiology, 20062012


  1. "Organic Acid Synthesis from C1 Substrates," U.S. Patent Application 62/212,264 (2015)

Featured Publications

  1. "Bioconversion of methane to lactate by an obligate methanotrophic bacterium," Sci Rep. (2016)

  2. "Phosphoketolase pathway engineering for carbon-efficient biocatalysis," Curr Opin Biotechnol (2015)

  3. "Leishmania amazonensis amastigotes highly express a tryparedoxin peroxidase isoform that increases parasite resistance to macrophage antimicrobial defenses and fosters parasite virulence," PLoS Negl Trop Dis. (2014)

  4. "The 4-cysteine zinc-finger motif of the RNA polymerase regulator DksA serves as a thiol switch for sensing oxidative and nitrosative stress,"Mol Microbiol. (2014)