DR. YONATHAN ZOHAR - University of Maryland, Center of Marine Biotechnology (COMB)
The Research: Merging Modern Biotech with Traditional Marine Science
Yonathan Zohar has spent decades working to overcome barriers in aquaculture that will enable increased
production of marine finfish and blue crabs for food and for restocking declining wild stocks. In addition
to this work, he is also the director of the University of Maryland's Center of Marine Biotechnology (COMB),
which is housed in the Columbus Center, a unique building located directly on the harbor in Baltimore,
Maryland's famous waterfront district.
According to Zohar, COMB strives to merge the tools of modern biology and biotechnology, including molecular
genetic and genomics, with traditional marine science. The express goal for COMB is to study, protect, and
enhance marine and estuarine resources, with a special focus on the Chesapeake Bay. That umbrella encompasses
activities ranging from research, to education, to economic and business development. The Biotechnology
Institute, of which COMB is a component, is in fact the only arm of the University of Maryland system charged
with economic development.
The two main foci at COMB are fisheries and aquaculture biotechnology, and marine microbial biotechnology,
with programs aimed at marine natural products discovery and development, marine environmental biotechnology,
and emerging technologies.
- VIDEO CLIP 1: "The COMB Mission"
Pushing Past Marine Finfish Aquaculture Bottlenecks