Brad Goodner, Ph.D.

Professor of Biology
Edward J. Smerek Chair of Mathematics, the Sciences, & Technology
Director, Center for Deciphering Life's Languages

B.S., Texas A&M University
Ph.D., Purdue University

113 Colton Hall
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I was born and raised in North-Central Texas (apologies in advance for the accent), but I don't wear boots, a ten-gallon hat, or a belt with a big buckle.  My academic history has included stints as an Aggie, a Boilermaker, a Tar Heel, a Spider, and now a Terrier (extra points if you can name all the schools).  I teach molecular and cellular biology, genetics, microbiology, bioinformatics, and medical microbiology.  My students and I use a variety of molecular tools to understand how "simple" bacteria do their thing.  Specifically, we are interested in how bacteria organize their genomic and metabolic space, and how they interact with their environment and with other organisms.  There are two parallel tracks and one overarching umbrella to this work.  One track involves the physiological, ecological, and evolutionary analysis of one bacterial genus, the soil saprophyte / plant pathogen / opportunistic human pathogen Agrobacterium.  The second track is comparative analysis of many bacterial species using genomic mapping and sequencing as the major tools.  The umbrella covering these tracks is incorporation of research as part of courses at Hiram College and through outreach to area high schools.  These efforts in courses lead many more students into subsequent independent research projects.

For over a decade now at two different institutions, I have been working to find new ways to involve my undergrads, high school students, and myself in fun cutting-edge genomics projects that allow me to merge teaching and research.  Over the past few years, I have worked with others on some emerging national efforts.  While I love to share what has worked and what has not worked for me, I freely admit that I am constantly on the lookout for great questions, ideas, and strategies that will move us to another level.

Outside of academia, my life revolves around the 3 women who rule my house – my wife and two young daughters.  We love to read, cook, garden, travel, and explore together.


  • Texas A&M University (Biochemistry), B.S.
  • Purdue University (Biology), Ph.D.
  • University of North Carolina (Plant Development), Post-doctoral education

Professional Appointments

Hiram College:

  • Assistant Professor of Biology 2001 - 2003, Associate Professor 2003-Present
  • Program Director of HHMI Grant Program for Hiram College 2004-Present
  • Founder & Director of the Center for Deciphering Life's Languages 2006 - Present
  • Edward J. Smerek Chair in Mathematics, the Sciences, & Technology 2007 - Present

University of Richmond:

  • Assistant Professor of Biology 1994 - 2001

University of North Carolina:

  • Postdoctoral Fellow & Visiting Lecturer 1991 - 1994

Courses Taught

  • Genetics
  • Genetics 2011
  • Molecular & Cellular Biology
  • Microbiology
  • Bioinformatics
  • Medical Microbiology
  • Advanced Molecular & Cellular Biology
  • Immunology
  • Introductory Biology

Research Interests

  • Functional genomics to better understand the biology of Agrobacterium tumefaciens
  • Reconstructing the evolution of chromosome II in Agrobacterium biovar 1 and 3 strains
  • Physical mapping, gap closure, & annotation for Agrobacterium biovar 2 and 3 genomes
  • Genetic/physical map, gap closure, & annotation for two Xenorhabdus genomes
  • Annotation of the Chromohalobacter salexigens (Halomonas elongata) genome
  • Finishing & annotating the Azotobacter vinelandii genome
  • Annotating the Ammonifex degensii genome
  • Finishing & annotating the Sphingomonas elodea genome
  • Hiram Genomics Initiative: Bringing research into undergraduate & high school classroom (through 2007)
    • 3 faculty & staff involved 159 students in 255 research contacts prior to HHMI grant
    • 12 faculty & staff involved 187 students in 717 research contacts during HHMI grant
    • 2 faculty & staff involved 3 high schools (3 teachers & 252 students) during HHMI grant
    • 3 faculty & staff involved 11 high school teachers in summer workshops during grant
  • Hiram Genomics Academy: Summer research opportunity for high school students
    • 3 faculty & staff involved 88 high school students in summer research during HHMI grant

Selected Publications

  • Slater, S., Goodner, B., Setubal, J., Goldman, B., Wood, D., Nester, E.  2008.  The Agrobacterium tumefaciens C58 genome. Chapter 4 in Agrobacterium: From Biology to Biotechnology. Tzfira, T. and Citovsky, V., editors. Springer, New York. pp. 149-181.
  • Latreille, P., S. Norton, B. Goldman, J. Henkaus, N. Miller, B. Barbazuk, H. Bode, C. Darby, Z. Du, S. Forst, S. Gaudriault, B. Goodner, H. Goodrich-Blair, & S. Slater, 2007. Optical mapping as a routine tool in bacterial genome sequencing. BMC Genomics 8:321.
  • Forst, S., & B. Goodner, 2006. Comparative bacterial genomics and its use in undergraduate education. Biological Control 38:47-53.
  • Goodner, B., & C. Wheeler, 2006. Functional genomics: using reverse genetics to test bioinformatics predictions. ASM MicrobeLibrary (peer-reviewed Web site for microbiology teaching resources; winner of 2007 MicrobeLibrary award for best curriculum resource submission).
  • Csonka, L.N., K. O'Connor, F. Larimer, P. Richardson, A. Lapidus, A.D. Ewing*, B.W. Goodner, & A. Oren, 2005. What we can deduce about metabolism in the moderate halophile Chromohalobacter salexigens from its genomic sequence. Chapter 18 in Adaptation To Life At High Salt Concentrations In Archaea, Bacteria, and Eukarya. Gunde-Cimerman, N., A. Oren, & A. Plemenita, eds.  Springer-Dordrecht.
  • Goodner, B., & D. Wood, 2004. Going after the whole genome from two different angles, pp. 292-309 in Agrobacterium tumefaciens: From Plant Pathology to Biotechnology. Nester, E., M.P. Gordon, & A. Kerr, eds. St. Paul, MN: APS Press.
  • Goodner, B., & C. Wheeler, 2004. Genetic and physical mapping of a bacterial genome. ASM MicrobeLibrary (peer-reviewed web site for microbiology teaching resources).
  • Goodner, B., G. Hinkle, S. Gattung, N. Miller, M. Blanchard, B. Qurollo, B.S. Goldman, Y. Cao, M. Askenazi, C. Halling, L. Mullin, K. Houmiel, J. Gordon, M. Vaudin, O. Iartchouk, A. Epp, F. Liu, C. Wollam, M. Allinger, D. Doughty*, C. Scott*, C. Lappas*, B. Markelz*, C. Flanagan*, C. Crowell*, J. Gurson*, C. Lomo*, C. Sear*, G. Strub*, C. Cielo*, & S. Slater, 2001. Genome sequence of the plant pathogen and biotechnology agent Agrobacterium tumefaciens C58. Science 294:2323-2328.

*denotes undergraduate student

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