Daniel K.Y. Solaiman Ph.D.


Daniel Solaiman received a Ph.D. degree in Chemistry (Bioinorganic) from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee under the direction of Prof. David Petering. He did postdoctoral research in microbiology under Prof. Robert Uffen at Michigan State University, studying the development of light-harvesting intracellular membrane in a photosynthetic bacterium. He then joined Prof. Felicia Y.C. and Kenneth Cheng-Wen Wu’s laboratory at the State University of New York-Stony Brook to study the role of metal ion in gene expression, a research partially supported by a Fellowship Award to D.S. from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. He was an assistant professor in the Chemistry Department of Duquesne University before joining the Agricultural Research Service of U.S. Department of Agriculture.

At USDA/ARS, his personal research is on developing “white” biotechnology to produce biochemicals from underutilized agricultural byproducts. Together with colleagues in the research team, they have developed technologies to produce various natural and semi-synthetic (derivatives) of biodegradable polymers (poly(hydroxyalkanoates) and cyanophycin) and biosurfactants (sophorolipids and rhamnolipids) from lipids and their industrial processing byproducts such as crude bioglycerol and soy molasses. The team’s research received the 2008 SDA/NBB Glycerine Innovative Award and the 2011 Gold Medalist for Outstanding Scientific Accomplishment of Philadelphia Federal Executive Board.

Selected Publications


  • Hayes, D.G., Kitamoto, D., Solaiman, D.K.Y., and Ashby, R.D. (Editors) Bio-Based Surfactants and Detergents: Synthesis, Properties and Applications, AOCS Press, Urbana, IL. 515 pp. (2009).

Selected Publications and Patents

  • Xue, C.-L., Solaiman, D.K.Y., Ashby, R.D., Zerkowski, J., Lee, J.H., Hong, S.-T., Yang, D., Shin, J.-A., Ji, C.-M. and Lee, K.-T. Study of Structured Lipid-Based Oil-in-Water Emulsion Prepared with Sophorolipid and its Oxidative Stability. J. Am. Oil Chem. Soc., 90, 123–132 (2013).
  • Solaiman, D.K.Y., Ashby, R.D. and Zerkowski, J.A. Substrate preference and oxygen requirement for cyanophycin synthesis by recombinant Escherichia coli. Biocat. Agric. Biotechnol., 1, 9-14 (2012).
  • Lee, J.H., Ashby, R.D., Needleman, D.S., Lee, K.-T. and Solaiman, D.K.Y. Cloning, sequencing, and characterization of lipase genes from a polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA)-synthesizing Pseudomonas resinovorans. Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol., 96, 993-1005 (2012).
  • Zerkowski, J.A. and Solaiman, D.K.Y. Omega-functionalized fatty acids, alcohols, and ethers via olefin metathesis. J. Am. Oil Chem. Soc., 89, 1325-1332 (2012).
  • Solaiman, D.K.Y., Garcia, R.A., Ashby, R.D., Piazza, G.J. and Steinbüchel, A. Rendered-protein hydrolysates for microbial synthesis of cyanophycin biopolymer. New Biotechnol., 28, 552-558 (2011).
  • Zerkowski; J., Solaiman; D., Ashby; R.D. and Foglia; T.A. Charged sophorolipids and sophorolipid containing compounds. U.S. Patent Number 7,718,782. May 2010.
  • Aneja, K.K., Ashby, R.D. and Solaiman, D.K.Y. Altered composition of Ralstonia eutropha poly(hydroxyalkanoate) through expression of PHA synthase from Allochromatium vinosum ATCC 35206. Biotechnol. Lett., 31, 1601-1612 (2009).
  • Gunther, N.W. Solaiman, D.K.Y., Fett, W.F. Processes for the production of rhamnolipids. U.S. Patent Number 7,202,063. April 2007.
  • Solaiman, D.K.Y., Ashby, R.D., Zerkowski, J.A. and Foglia, T.A. Simplified soy molasses-based medium for reduced-cost production of sophorolipids by Candida bombicola. Biotechnol. Lett., 29, 1341-1347 (2007).
  • Ashby, R.D., Nuñez, A., Solaiman, D.K.Y. and Foglia, T.A. Sophorolipid biosynthesis from a biodiesel co-product stream. J. Am. Oil Chem. Soc., 82, 625-630 (2005).

Eastern Regional Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture 600 East Mermaid Lane, Wyndmoor, PA 19038, U.S.A.

e-mail: Dan.Solaiman@ARS.USDA.GOV