Microbial Insights provides unparalleled expertise. There is no substitute for experience. Our laboratory personnel have received graduate degrees, and are published, recognized experts. You can rest assured that your samples are in the hands of our dedicated professionals.

Meet a few of these extraordinary scientists below:

Dora Taggart
Chief Executive Officer

Since joining Microbial Insights in 2001, Dora Taggart has advanced the field of Molecular Biological Tools, including pioneering work in qPCR analysis and stable isotope probing. Dora continues to propel MI forward by collaborating with leading researchers in academia and federal agencies to keep MI at the forefront of the industry. As CEO, Dora has become a global ambassador for MBTs, regularly presenting as an invited speaker at environmental and corrosion conferences, leading hundreds of technical workshops worldwide, and co-authoring guidance documents with groups like the Interstate Technology Regulatory Council (ITRC) EMD team and ER Wiki (Remediapedia) to support appropriate use and interpretation of MBTs. In 2011, Dora was named the most valuable team member for the ITRC EMD team, in 2016 received the woman-owned business of the year, in 2017 was honored as Business Person of the Year and in 2022 received the National Groundwater Association Technology Award. She also serves on the Board of Directors of  Boys and Girls Club of the Cumberland Plateau as well as serves on the town council committee of Farragut, and the Board of Visitors for the University of Tennessee Department of Microbiology. For 2022-2024, Dora will serve as chair for the National Institute of Health MCST (12) section.   Dora received her degree in Biomedical Engineering from Vanderbilt University.

Vlad Bobrek
Senior Vice President

In his role as Senior Vice President, Vlad is responsible for supervising the comprehensive operations of both the business and laboratory functions within MI. With over 15 years of experience in the scientific instrumentation industry, Vlad has previously worked for government contractors and advised clients on process implementations. At MI his primary emphasis lies in enhancing operational efficiency, all the while ensuring the well-being of employees. Vlad holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the University of Tennessee.”

Dr. Sam Rosolina
Vice President of Applied Innovation

As Vice President of Applied Innovation, Sam works with each of the laboratories within Microbial Insights and collaborates with experts across multiple industries to continually drive innovation forward. Throughout the development of new molecular biological tools, his focus is a balance of hard science, accessible methods, and actionable data. He received his B.A. in Chemistry from Berea College and went on to complete a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry at the University of Tennessee. Throughout his Ph.D. research, Sam focused on analysis of trace-level environmental toxins including heavy metals and toxic gases. Dr. Rosolina is also proud to serve as the Board Chair for Discover Life in America, a non-profit and Great Smoky Mountains National Park partner dedicated to discovering, understanding, and conserving biodiversity.

John Gallagher
Vice President of Business Development

John works closely with the Research and Development team to commercialize new products and services.  In addition, he works with MI’s sales teams, both domestically and around the globe, to ensure that clients have access to the tools they need to accomplish their goals.  Finally, he is charged with monitoring business processes and quality controls to ensure that MI is working as efficiently and accurately as their clients have come to expect.  He received his B.A. in Economics from Rutgers University and his M.S. in Accounting from Indiana Wesleyan University.

Omara Robles
DNA Laboratory Director

As DNA Laboratory Director, Omara is responsible for processing and analyzing samples using techniques such as qPCR, QuantArray® and Next Generation Sequencing. She has diversified her skills in quality assurance and management working in the biopharmaceutical industry for many years. She received her B.S. in Biology at the University of Puerto Rico, where she performed undergraduate research in cell regeneration and gene expression granted by the National Institute of Health (NIH). She assists by overseeing the DNA Laboratory operations, her main goal is to ensure the quality of the process while providing accurate results to uphold our high customer service standards.

AJ Hessock
Customer Service Director

AJ is at the hub of operations responsible for overseeing bottle orders, sample check-in, routine quoting and often serving as the initial point of contact and liaison between our clients and project managers. At MI, we strive to match cutting edge MBTs with exceptional customer service that simply cannot be matched by other laboratories. To achieve this goal, AJ combines scientific knowledge and experience with outstanding skills in organization, logistics and communication.

Charles Slater
Senior Research Scientist

Charles is instrumental in qPCR and QuantArray® assay design and ensuring that Microbial Insights continues to remain at the forefront of molecular microbiology. Charles’ expertise and experience both at the lab bench and at the computer spans the continuum of molecular biology from DNA (extraction, qPCR, sequencing) through gene expression (mRNA, RT-qPCR) to protein purification and analysis (SDS-PAGE, HPLC, MS). Over the past 20 years, the molecular microbiology field has exploded not just in terms of technology but also in terms of data volume with nearly 200,000,000 gene sequences available. Simply put, developing and validating new MBTs requires a special team of scientists and a corporate commitment to research and development. He received his B.S. in Biology from the University of Tennessee and his M.S. in Forensic Science and Biotechnology from the University of Alabama.

Christian Polanco
Director of Project Success

Christian is responsible for project management and helps clients with selecting the correct assays for their projects, sampling logistics, and routine customer service requests. He also assists the technical director with overseeing the customer service department and DNA, PLFA, and CSIA laboratories to ensure that high-quality, accurate results are delivered on time. Christian is a detail-oriented Biotechnologist specialized in cell culture with extensive experience in Biopharmaceuticals. He is passionate about the environment and draws from his previous experience to improve processes in our facilities and communicate to clients the utility and applications of our MBTs.  He obtained a B.S. in Biotechnology from the InterAmerican University in Arecibo, PR.

Hannah Ward
Project Management

As a Project Success Manager, Hannah is a primary point of contact for MI’s clients, responsible for fielding questions, initiating projects, and offering technical expertise upon completion. An avid crafter and music lover, Hannah’s multidisciplinary background brings a people- and process-focused approach to the application of MI’s molecular biological tools. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Vanderbilt University with departmental honors in independent research and an MBA from East Tennessee State University in 2024.

Elizabeth Browning
Technical Sales Representative

As the Technical Sales Representative, Elizabeth is a welcomed speaker for educating potential clients around the globe on MI’s Molecular Biological Tools, showcasing how they produce actionable data that allows clients to make confident decisions at their sites. In addition to routinely presenting on MI’s behalf, she works closely with the Business Development and Applied Innovation departments to investigate potential new markets. Elizabeth received her BHS at East Tennessee State University, where she performed diverse research in environmental health sciences. Her extensive laboratory experience aids in communicating technical information clearly and answering complex questions.