Charles received a B.S. in Microbiology from the U of Minnesota, an M.S. in Microbiology from the U. of Montana and completed a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Cell Science at the U. of Florida (Gainesville). He has over 28 years of experience in industrial biotechnology first working at Difco R & D in Ann Arbor, MI as a senior scientist, and as a group leader, manager and most recently as Director of Yeast and Renewables Research at Archer Daniels Midland in Decatur, IL.
Dr. Abbas is the author of over 100 abstracts, scientific articles, book chapters, review articles, patents and patent applications. He is considered a leading expert in yeast, large-scale industrial fermentations, and biorefining. Charles is credited for proposing the widely used biorefinery term in early 1990s to illustrate the bioprocessing of commodity crops to high value added products. His areas of expertise include: industrial biotechnology; fungal chemistry and biochemistry; biomass conversion; advanced biofuels and chemicals; bioprocessing of commodity crops and their residues to produce high value-added products; development of yeast strains for industrial fermentations; large-scale fermentation production of ethanol, polymers, amino acids, enzymes, vitamins, carotenoids and organic acids using bacterial, fungal, and algal systems.