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Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology

Drs. Chen, Hill, and Li and their staffs have collaborated with HY-TEK Bio for the past 4 years under a contract with the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Sciences (UMCES), via the Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS) program. They bring to HY-TEK Bio their world-renowned expertise in algae growth, strain isolation and life sciences experience along with the resources and facilities of the University.

Dr. Feng Chen 

Associate Professor / IMET

Dr. Feng Chen is an Associate Professor at the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology with expertise in marine microbial ecology, microbial oceanography and biogeography, microbial diversity, genomics and functional genomics, phage-host interactions, and clean green biotechnology. His research focuses on marine virus ecology; cyanobacteria and cyanophage; roseophages and gene transfer agent (GTA); biogeography, physiology, genomics and functional genomics of microorganisms living in the sea; algae-based clean and green biotechnology. 

Dr. Chen earned his Ph.D. in Marine Microbial Ecology from the University of Texas at Austin in 1995.

Dr. Russell Hill

Director and Professor / IMET

Dr. Russell Hill is the Director of the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology with expertise in marine actinmycete ecology and molecular biology, microbiology of marine natural products, bacterial and cyanbacterial symbionts of marine sponges, marine bacteriophages, metal resistance in actinomycetes and application of bioremediation.

The major research focus of the IMET laboratory is the investigation of symbiotic bacteria associated with marine invertebrates, in particular, sponges. Many important compounds with pharmaceutical potential have been discovered in sponges and other invertebrates. In some cases, the compounds of interest are produced not by the sponges themselves, but by the bacteria associated with the sponges. IMET is identifying many of the bacteria present in sponges by cloning the genes encoding the 165 ribosomal RNA from these sponges, selecting culture conditions to be able to grow a higher proportion of bacteria, and finding the ones that produce important compounds.

Dr. Hill earned his Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Cape Town South Africa in 1988.

Dr. Yantao Li

Assistant Professor / IMET

Dr. Yantao Li is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology with expertise in algal molecular biology and biochemistry; metabolic engineering for biofuels and bio-products, and algal biotechnology and environmental bioremediation. His research aims to study lipid synthesis, turnover and lipid body biogenesis in microalgae, and engineering of algae for biofuel production and bioremediation. He earned a Ph.D. in Microbial Biotechnology from the University of Hong Kong in 2007.


The facilities of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) and Institute for Marine and Environmental Technology (IMET) located in the Inner Harbor of Downtown Baltimore City are known for their excellent facility, staff and outstanding technical capabilities.

HY-TEK Bio and the University have enjoyed a successful relationship for years under state funding from the Maryland Industrial Partnership Program.

Edward Weinberg, P.E.,

President / ESSRE Consulting, Inc.