Jonathan M. Conway

Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering
Email Address:
Office Location: 
A225 Engineering Quad

Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, North Carolina State University, 2017

M.S. Chemical Engineering, North Carolina State University, 2013

B.S. Chemical Engineering, University of Notre Dame, 2011

Honors and Awards

  • James K. Ferrell Outstanding Ph.D. Graduate Award, NC State Chemical Engineering Department, 2017
  • Excellence in Mentorship Award, NC State Graduate Student Association, 2016
  • GAANN Fellowship, NC State Biotechnology Program, 2012-2014

Research Interests

The Conway Lab is focused on defining and engineering plant-microbe and microbe-microbe interactions at plant-microbe interfaces. Interactions at plant-microbe interfaces shape much of the life on our planet. The microbes at interfaces with living plants can positively and negatively affect the growth, health, and productivity of the plants that fix atmospheric carbon to feed our world. And, the microbes at interfaces with dead plants decompose the complex polymers that make up plant biomass to return carbon to the atmosphere. The Conway Lab uses genetic engineering of non-model bacteria found at plant-microbe interfaces and biomolecular engineering of their products to probe and mechanistically define consequential plant-microbe and microbe-microbe interactions in these complex ecosystems. Then, using this mechanistic understanding, we engineer these bacteria, plants, and their interactions for the development of new technologies for the bio-agriculture, bio-energy, and bio-chemical industries.

Publications List: 
  1. Finkel, O.M., I. Salas-González, G. Castrillo, J.M. Conway, T.F. Law, P.J.P.L. Teixeira, E.D. Wilson, C.R. Fitzpatrick, C.D. Jones, J.L. Dangl. (2020) A single bacterial genus maintains root development in a complex microbiome. Nature. 587:103-108.
  2. Teixeira, P.J.P.L., N.R. Colaianni, T.F. Law, J.M. Conway, S. Gilbert, H. Li, I. Salas-González, D. Panda, N.M. Del Risco, O.M. Finkel, G. Castrillo, P. Mieczkowski, C.D. Jones, and J.L. Dangl. (2021) Specific Modulation of the Root Immune System by a Community of Commensal Bacteria. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 118(16):e2100678118. Doi: 10.1073/pnas.2100678118
  3. Conway, J.M., B.S. McKinley, N.L. Seals, D. Hernandez, P.A. Khatibi, S. Poudel, R.J. Giannone, R.L. Hettich, A.M. Williams-Rhaesa, G.L. Lipscomb, M.W.W. Adams, and R.M. Kelly. (2017) Functional Analysis of the Glucan Degradation Locus (GDL) in Caldicellulosiruptor bescii Reveals Essential Roles of Component Glycoside Hydrolases in Plant Biomass Deconstruction. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 83(24):e01828-17. Doi: 10.1128/AEM.01828-17.
  4. Conway, J.M., W.S. Pierce, J.H. Le, J.H. Wright, G.W. Harper, A.L. Tucker, J.V. Zurawski, L.L. Lee, S. E. Blumer-Schuette, R.M. Kelly. (2016) Multi-Domain, Surface Layer Associated Glycoside Hydrolases Contribute to Plant Polysaccharide Degradation by Caldicellulosiruptor Species. J. Biol. Chem. 291, 6732-6747. Doi: 10.1074/jbc.M115.707810
  5. Straub, C.T., P.A. Khatibi, J.P. Wang, J.M. Conway, A.M. Williams-Rhaesa, I.M. Peszlen, V.L. Chiang, M.W.W. Adams, and R.M. Kelly. (2019) Quantitative Fermentation of Unpretreated Transgenic Poplar by Caldicellulosiruptor bescii. Nat. Commun. 10(1):1-6. Doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-11376-6