Donohue is a is Ira L. Baldwin Professor of Bacteriology and UW Foundation Fetzer-Bascom Professor at UW–Madison. He is an internationally-recognized expert on bio-and genome-based conversion of renewable resources into valuable products.
Donohue’s project will utilize a YSI Model 2980-D2 Biochemistry Analyzer. This Biochemistry Analyzer allows rapid, direct, and simultaneous quantification of residue sugars (lactose, galactose, glucose), nitrogenous compounds (ammonia and several amino acids), lactic acid and other expected fermentation products. It will be used to test the hypothesis that the residues remaining after milk is processed into food-grade products can be microbially fermented into valuable products. Existing methods to measure each of these analytes are time consuming, require complex extraction procedures, and often difficult to standardize, so the Biochemistry Analyzer would dramatically increase the number of samples that can be used to monitor the fermentation of dairy residues.