Our Team

BASE₂BIO is a small team with a hands-on approach to our services and research collaborations. Our partners have an extensive background in the fields of microbial genomics and animal health, and we are leveraging that expertise to bring veterinary diagnostics into the 21st century.

Photo of Jeremy Volkening

Jeremy Volkening

Partner & Bioinformaticist



Dr. Volkening is the founder of BASE₂BIO. He received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Cellular and Molecular Biology program in 2019 with a focus on applied genomics and proteomics. Prior to graduate school, he worked at the USDA Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory from 2005 to 2010 under Dr. Stephen Spatz, where he was integrally involved in the early adoption of next-generation sequencing for the analysis of large avian herpesvirus genomes, as well as in the engineering of recombinant viruses for vaccine development. As a subsequent collaborator with the USDA through BASE₂BIO, he has guided the analysis of numerous viral and bacterial genome sequencing projects using second- and third-generation technologies and developed workflows for targeted and untargeted NGS diagnostics of avian pathogens. His current area of focus is the development of rapid, high-throughput automated pipelines for untargeted and target viral diagnostics for use in production and lab settings.

In addition to his experience in microbial genomics, Dr. Volkening has participated in a number of high-impact projects in other domains. At the University of Wisconsin, he was a key contributor in a multidisciplinary collaboration to sequence the genome and transcriptome of the electric eel and use comparative transcriptomics of electric fishes to shed light on the evolutionary origins of the electrocyte. His graduate research utilized quantitative mass spectrometry to model protein thermostability in both bacterial and eukaryotic species as well as for proteogenomic characterization of a number of model plant species.

Photo of Claudio Afonso

Claudio Afonso

Partner & Senior Scientist



Prior to joining BASE₂BIO, Dr. Afonso was the Lead Scientist for Newcastle Disease at the USDA Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory from 2005 until 2019. He holds a Ph.D in Genetics, Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Nebraska along with post-doc training at Yale University and the Plum Island Animal Disease Center of the USDA.

At Plum Island, he worked under BSL-3 conditions to perform the first complete genomic sequencing and analysis of key poxviral pathogens such as Canarypox, Fowlpox, Lumpi Skin Disease Virus, Sheeppox, Goatpox, Horsepox, Camelpox, Crocodilepox, Entomopox and Swinepox, among others. He was responsible for genomic analysis and sequencing strategies for large genomes of avian herpesviruses such as Marek’s disease virus and herpesvirus of turkey. More recently, he has been involved in conducting evolutionary and epidemiological studies on Newcastle disease virus while developing new diagnostic tools for this disease.

Dr. Afonso’s research has been supported by extramural grants from the Gates Foundation, the US Department of State, AFRI and DTRA among others, and his research contributions have been cited over 10,000 times. In addition to his position as senior scientist at BASE2BIO, he currently serves as an adjunct graduate faculty at the Veterinary Sciences Department of the University of Georgia.