Justin R. Barone

Education

Ph.D. Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, Macromolecular Science and Engineering (2000).

M.S. New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ, Engineering Science (1997).

B.S. Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA, Materials Science and Engineering (1994).

Experience

Professor, Biological Systems Engineering Department, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, June 2018-present.

President/Owner, Protein Q, Inc., Roanoke, VA, August 2014-present.

Associate Professor (w/ tenure), Biological Systems Engineering Department, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, June 2011-May 2018.

Co-Owner, Eastern Bioplastics, LLC, Mount Crawford, VA, March 2008-November 2016.

Associate Professor (w/o tenure), Biological Systems Engineering Department, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, January 2007-June 2011.

Research Chemist, USDA/ARS, Beltsville, MD, September 2002-December 2006.

Advanced R&D Engineer, Polymer Diagnostics, Inc. (a division of the PolyOne Corp.), Avon Lake, OH, April 2000-September 2002.

Research Assistant, BP Chemicals Fellow, Case Western Reserve University, Department of Macromolecular Science and Engineering, Cleveland, OH, January 1997-March 2000.

Research Assistant, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Materials Research Group, Newark, NJ, January 1996-December 1996.

Project Engineer, Utility Development Corporation, Livingston, NJ, January 1995-January 1996.

Selected Major Awards

Editorial Board Member, Biological Physics, Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group.

Courses Taught Last Five Years

  • BSE 3154 Thermodynamics of Biological Systems
  • BSE 3504 Transport Processes in Biological Systems
  • BSE 4604 Food Process Engineering
  • BSE 4644/5644 Biobased Industrial Polymers

Other Teaching and Advising

I have mentored 10 undergraduate students in my research laboratory in the past 5 years and served as the Director of the NSF-REU Site: Bioprocess Engineering for Sustainability.  I also mentor a senior design team each academic year.

Program Focus

Research in the Renewable Materials Laboratory is focused on discovering new biobased and bioinspired polymeric materials and low energy processes to form them.  Projects include: (a) self-assembling proteins inside of polymers to create new in situ formed nanocomposites, (b) self-assembling proteins in food to create texture, (c) extruding and molding polymer, food, and elastomer bilayers capable of changing shape when stimulated, and (d) characterizing the breakdown of plastics to microplastics (MPs) in rivers and streams.        

Selected Recent Publications

(* undergraduate student, ** graduate student, *** post-doc)

Peer Reviewed Journals

  • L.A. Maynard, B.L. DeButts, and J.R. Barone, “Morphology influence on modulus and elastic recovery in polyolefin thermoplastic elastomers,” (in prep).
  • B.L. DeButts, R. Thompson, and J.R. Barone, “Zinc oxide-free synthetic isoprene rubber vulcanizates using wheat protein as an activator,” (in prep).
  • L.E. Hanzly, B.L. DeButts, D. Shell, and J.R. Barone, “Protein aggregation in aqueous polyvinyl alcohol solutions,” Journal of Polymers and the Environment (submitted).
  • B.L. DeButts, C.R. Spivey, and J.R. Barone, “Wheat gluten aggregates as a reinforcement for poly(vinyl alcohol) films,” ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering, 6, 2422-2430 (2018).
  • A.M. Davis, L.E. Hanzly, B.L. DeButts, and J.R. Barone, “Characterization of dimensional stability in flax fiber reinforced polypropylene composites,” Polymer Composites, in press (2018).
  • B.L. DeButts, L.E. Hanzly, and J.R. Barone, “Protein-polyisoprene rubber composites,” Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 135, 46026 (2018).
  • W. Zhang, J.R. Barone, S.H. Renneckar, “Reducing the heterogeneity of xylan through processing,” Carbohydrate Polymers, 150, 250-258 (2016).
  • W. Zhang, N. Sathitsuksanoh, B. Simmons, C.E. Frazier, J.R. Barone, and S.H. Renneckar, “Revealing the thermal sensitivity of lignin through structural analysis,” RSC Advances, 6(36), 30234-30246 (2016).
  • D.M. Hall, I.R. Bruss, J.R. Barone, and G.M. Grason, “Morphological selection via geometric frustration in chiral filament bundles,” Nature Materials, 15, 727-732 (2016).
  • W. Zhang, N. Sathitsuksanoh, J.R. Barone, and S.H. Renneckar, “Enhanced enzymatic saccharification using glycerol thermal processing (GTP),” Bioresource Technology, 199(1), 148-154 (2016).
  • G.P. Noble, D.W. Wang, D.J. Walsh, J.R. Barone, M.B. Miller, K.A. Nishina, S. Li, and S. Supattapone, “A structural and functional comparison between infectious and non-infectious autocatalytic recombinant Prp conformers,” PLoS Pathogens, 11(6), e1005017 (2015).
  • E.C. Claunch, D.M. Ridgley, and J.R. Barone,Completely self-assembled fiber composites,” Composites Science and Technology, 117, 1-8 (2015).
  • D.M. Ridgley, C.M.W. Rippner, and J.R. Barone, “Design and construction of large amyloid fibers,” Fibers, 3(2), 90-102 (2015).  (invited feature article)
  • W. Zhang, J.R. Barone, and S.H. Renneckar, “Biomass fractionation after denaturing cell walls by glycerol thermal processing,” ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering, 3(3), 413-420 (2015).
  • C.S. Tuck, A. Latham, P.W. Lee, and J.R. Barone, “Wheat gluten protein plasticized with its own hydrolysate,” Journal of Polymers and the Environment, 22(4), 430-438 (2014).  
  • W.H. Frame, D.M. Ridgley, K. Gaasch, M. Alley, J.R. Barone, and C. Shang, “Ureolytic activity of soybean and corn residue extracts,” Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis, 45(22), 2959-2969 (2014).
  • D.M. Ridgley, E.C. Claunch, P.W. Lee, and J.R. Barone, “The role of protein hydrophobicity in conformation change and self-assembly into large amyloid fibers,” Biomacromolecules, 15(4), 1240-1247 (2014).
  • D.M. Ridgley, B.G. Freedman, P.W. Lee, and J.R. Barone, “Genetically encoded self-assembly of large amyloid fibers,” Biomaterials Science, 2(4), 560-566 (2014).
  • J.R. Barone, “Composites of nanocellulose and lignin-like polymers,” in Cellulose Based Composites. New Green Nanomaterials, ed. J. Hinestroza and A. Netravali, Chapter 9, pgs. 183-199, Wiley-VCH (2014).
  • D.M. Ridgley, E.C. Claunch, and J.R. Barone, “Characterization of large amyloid fibers and tapes by FT-IR and Raman spectroscopy,” Applied Spectroscopy, 67(12), 1417-1426 (2013).
  • D.M. Ridgley and J.R. Barone, “Evolution of the amyloid fiber over multiple length scales,” ACS Nano, 7(2), 1006-1015 (2013).

Peer Conference Proceedings

  • L.A. Maynard, B.L. DeButts, and J.R. Barone, “Elastic recovery and actuation in polyolefin thermoplastic elastomers,” Society of Plastics Engineers ANTEC Proceedings, Paper#TBD, May 2018, Thermoplastic Elastomers Section.
  • B.L. DeButts, Renee Thompson, and J.R. Barone, “Wheat protein as a participant in the sulfur-curing of isoprene rubber,” Society of Plastics Engineers ANTEC Proceedings, Paper#TBD, May 2018, Bioplastics Section.
  • B.L. DeButts, L.E. Hanzly, and J.R. Barone, “Self-assembled protein-rubber nanocomposites,” Society of Plastics Engineers ANTEC Proceedings, Paper #286, p. 469-473, May 2017, Bioplastics Section.
  • B.L. DeButts, C.R. Spivey, and J.R. Barone, “Compression-molded protein-PVA nanocomposite films,” Society of Plastics Engineers ANTEC Proceedings, Paper #287, p. 1256-1261, May 2017, Flexible Packaging Section.

Oral and Poster Presentations

June 2018: Gordon Research Conference on Nanoscale Science and Engineering for Agriculture and Food  Systems, South Hadley, MA
B. DeButts and J. Barone, “Compounding amyloid reinforcement into rubber” (poster)

May 2018: ANTEC Meeting of the Society of Plastics Engineers, Orlando, FL
L. Maynard, B. DeButts, and J. Barone, “Elastic recovery and actuation in polyolefin thermoplastic elastomers,” Thermoplastic Elastomers Section
B. DeButts, R. Thompson, and J. Barone, “Wheat protein as a participant in the sulfur-curing of isoprene rubber,” Bioplastics Section

March 2018: 255th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, New Orleans, LA
L. Hanzly and J. Barone, “Gelatin hydrogel actuators,” CELL-51 (invited, + Sci-Mix poster)
L. Maynard and J. Barone, “Microstructural changes in polyolefin thermoplastic elastomers affect elastic recovery and energy dissipation,” POLY-240 (+ Sci-Mix poster)
B. DeButts, R. Thompson, and J. Barone, “Zinc-free synthetic isoprene rubber vulcanizates using wheat protein as an activator,” CELL-303

March 2018: American Physical Society March Meeting 2018, Los Angeles, CA
L. Hanzly, L. Maynard, and J. Barone, “Actuation in simple gel and elastomer systems,” Active Mechanics of Networks and Gels I

February 2018: Industrial Hemp Summit, Danville, VA
J. Barone, “Materials science opportunities for industrial hemp” (invited)

December 2017: ACS Polymer Chemistry Division Polymers and Nanotechnology Workshop, San Diego, CA L. Hanzly, B. DeButts, D. Shell, and J. Barone, “Early stage amyloid ‘pompons’ are realized in vitro in viscous polymer solutions” (invited)

June 2017: Southeastern Polymer Forum, Blacksburg, VA
B. DeButts, L. Hanzly, C. Spivey, and J. Barone, “Influence of polymeric environment on self-assembled nanostructure morphology,” Nanoscale of Macromolecules Session

May 2017: USDA Nanotechnology Annual Grantees Conference, Washington, DC
B. DeButts and J. Barone, “Compounding amyloid reinforcement into rubber”

May 2017: ANTEC Meeting of the Society of Plastics Engineers, Anaheim, CA
B. Debutts, L. Hanzly, and J. Barone, “Self-assembled protein-rubber nanocomposites,” Bioplastics Session
B. DeButts, C. Spivey, and J. Barone, “Compression-molded protein-PVA nanocomposite films,” Flexible Packaging Session
A. Davis, L. Hanzly, B. DeButts, and J. Barone, “Dimensional stability analysis of flax fiber reinforced polypropylene composites” (poster)

April 2017: 253rd National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, San Francisco, CA
A. Davis, L. Hanzly, B. DeButts, and J. Barone, “Direct comparison of protein and lignocellulose fibers as reinforcements in polymer matrix composites,” CELL-121 (poster)
A. Davis, L. Hanzly, B. DeButts, and J. Barone, “Dimensional stability analysis of flax fiber reinforced polypropylene composites,” CELL-123 (poster)
B. DeButts, L. Hanzly, and J. Barone, “Amyloid reinforced rubber nanocomposites,” CELL-227 (invited)
B. DeButts, C. Spivey, and J. Barone, “Amyloid reinforced polyvinyl alcohol nanocomposites,” CELL-184 (invited)
L. Hanzly and J. Barone, “Protein self-assembly in polar polymer environments of varying viscosity,” PMSE-53 (+ Sci-Mix poster)
L. Hanzly and J. Barone, “The role of disulfide bonding in protein aggregation,” BIOT-535 (poster)

March 2017: School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Georgia Tech, Atlanta, GA
J. Barone, “High performance natural polymer materials” (invited)

March 2017: Plastics Engineering Department, University of Massachusetts-Lowell, Lowell, MA
J. Barone, “High performance natural polymer materials” (invited)

February 2017: Macromolecular Science and Engineering Department, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
J. Barone, “High performance natural polymer materials” (invited)

February 2017: Chemical and Life Sciences Engineering Department, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
Barone, “Self-assembly of protein b-sheets and their use in nanocomposites” (invited)

October 2016: Virginia Soft Matter Workshop, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
B. DeButts, L. Hanzly, and J. Barone, “Protein-polymer nanocomposites”

October 2016: Fiber Science Department, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
B. DeButts, L. Hanzly, and J. Barone, “Self-assembly of amyloid fibers and their use in composites” (invited)

July 2016: International Symposium on Materials from Renewables, Fargo, ND
L. Hanzly, B. DeButts, and J. Barone, “In situ nanofiller formation in polymer nanocomposites”

June 2016: USDA Nanotechnology Annual Grantees Conference, State College, PA
B. DeButts, L. Hanzly, and J. Barone, “Compounding amyloid reinforcement into rubber”

May 2016: Energy Polymer Group Annual Meeting, Arlington, TX
B. DeButts, L. Hanzly, and J. Barone, “Compounding amyloid reinforcement into rubber” (invited)

May 2016: ANTEC Meeting of the Society of Plastics Engineers, Indianapolis, IN
B. DeButts, L. Hanzly, and J. Barone, “In situ nanofiller formation in polymer nanocomposites” (poster)

May 2016: Center for Soft Matter and Biological Physics Symposium, Blacksburg, VA
B. DeButts, L. Hanzly, and J. Barone, “Protein nanocomposites”

May 2016: NSF I/UCRC CenTiRe Industrial Advisory Board Meeting, Blacksburg, VA
J. Barone, “In situ nanofiller formation during tire rubber compounding”

March 2016: 251st National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, San Diego, CA
D. Roth and J. Barone, “Properties of large amyloid fibers,” CELL-42
D. Roth, D. Ridgley, B. Freedman, F. Gillam, and J. Barone, “Genetic engineering of functional large amyloid fibers,” CELL-5 (voted best paper in the session)
B. DeButts, L. Hanzly, and J. Barone, “In situ nanofiller formation in polymer nanocomposites,” POLY-183 (invited)

November 2015: NSF I/UCRC CenTiRe Industrial Advisory Board Meeting, Akron, OH
J. Barone, “In situ nanofiller formation during tire rubber compounding”

September 2015: 10th Annual Energy Harvesting Workshop, Blacksburg, VA
D. Roth and J. Barone, “Engineered protein piezoelectric materials”

June 2015: NSF I/UCRC CenTiRe Industrial Advisory Board Meeting, Blacksburg, VA
J. Barone, “In situ nanofiller formation during tire rubber compounding”

February 2015: Biophysical Society 59th Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD
D. Hall, I. Bruss, J. Barone, and G.M. Grason, “Morphology selection through geometric frustration in twisted filament bundles and fibers” Protein Assemblies II, 2660-Pos (poster)

July 2014: World Congress of Biomechanics, Boston, MA
D. Ridgley and J. Barone, “Mechanics of hierarchically self-assembled amyloids” Nano and Mesoscale Organization and Behavior of Biomolecular Materials (invited)
D. Ridgley and J. Barone, “Genetically encoded self-assembly of large amyloid fibers” Engineering Molecular Mechanics with Synthetic Biology (invited)

April 2014: 246th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Dallas, TX
D. Ridgley and J. Barone, “Influence of conformation change on the hierarchical self-assembly of amyloid fibers,” CELL-239
D. Ridgley and J. Barone, “Genetically encoded 3D printing,” BIOT-434
W. Zhang, N. Sathitsuksanoh, J. Barone, and S. Renneckar, “Isolation and structural analysis of lignin from glycerol thermal pretreated (GTP) biomass,” CELL-2
i> W. Zhang, N. Sathitsuksanoh, J. Barone, and S. Renneckar, “Glycerol thermal processing as a new pretreatment to fractionate biopolymers and improve enzymatic saccharification,” CELL-268

November 2013: 2013 AIChE Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA D. Ridgley and J. Barone, “Engineering large self-assembled amyloid fibers” Nanoscale Science and Engineering Forum
D. Ridgley and J. Barone, “Large amyloid fibers as robust biomaterials” Materials Engineering and Sciences Division
D. Ridgley and J. Barone, “Engineering large self-assembled amyloid fibers as robust biomaterials” Materials Engineering and Sciences Division (poster)

October 2013: Macromolecular Science and Engineering Department, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
J. Barone, “Evolution of ‘functional’ amyloids over multiple length scales” (invited)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Selected Recent Funding

  • USDA-NIFA, “Compounding amyloid reinforcement into rubber,” $283,884 (PI), 2016-2019
  • NSF-CBET, “Multi-scale metabolic modeling and engineering workshop,” $17,304 (co-PI), 2016-2017
  • NSF I-Corps, “In situ nanofiller formation during polymer processing,” $50,000 (PI), 2016
  • NSF-I/UCRC-CenTiRe, “In situ nanofiller formation during tire rubber compounding,” $44,520 (PI), 2015-2016
  • NSF-EEC-RET, “Biomechanics from molecular to organismal scales,” $499,670 (senior personnel), 2013-2017
  • NSF-EEC-REU, “REU Site: Bioprocess engineering for sustainability,” $368,461 (PI), 2012-2016    
Justin Barone

540-231-0680

jbarone@vt.edu