Meet the Team

Lab Director

David Grant

David Grant is the Laboratory Director at Assured Bio Labs. He earned his B.S. in Microbiology and Chemistry at the University of Tennessee Knoxville in 2017 and his M.S. in Microbiology from UTK in 2021. In between his degrees, he worked as a research specialist. His thesis research was in Streptomyces and microbial genes responsible for plant root colonization. His responsibilities at Assured Bio include Product Testing planning, procurement, and general project support. David enjoys running, hiking, video games, graphics, and football.


Marcus Reed

Marcus Reed is the Laboratory Supervisor at Assured Bio. He earned, in 2013, a BS in Biochemistry, Cellular, and Molecular Biology (BCMB) from the University of Tennessee and began working at Assured Bio Labs that same year. His primary job duties include processing DNA samples and research and development of new DNA analysis for the lab. He also helps in most other scientific areas of the lab. Outside work, he enjoys spending time with his wife and dog, playing music, watching movies, traveling, and learning new things.

Laboratory Staff

Dustin Welch

Dustin Welch is the Senior Chemist at Assured Bio Labs. He earned his B.S. in Chemistry from Francis Marion University in 2006. He has 15 years of Quality Control experience in regulated chemical manufacturing environments. At Assured Bio he is responsible for Product Manufacturing, Research & Development, and Laboratory Software Development. In his free time, Dustin enjoys traveling, seeing live music, gardening, electronics and Python.

Grant Ball

Grant Ball is a Laboratory Technician at Assured Bio Labs.  Originally from Michigan, Grant attended Michigan State University.  While pursuing a degree in engineering, he also worked in the Sharkey Laboratory at MSU.  Assisting in the isoprene protein pathway project, Grant realized his passion in biology would guide his career path.  Grant earned his B.S. in Biology from Oakland University, Rochester, MI, in 2016.  He gained lab experience working at Kay Automotive Graphics in Lake Orion, Michigan, before joining the Assured Bio Lab team in 2021.  His primary duties include reading and preparing mold scans, as well as preparation of air samples for DNA analysis and more. 

Grant is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys hiking, hunting, and target shooting.  He also enjoys playing the violin, drawing, and spending time with family.  

Rebekah Haas

Rebekah Haas is a laboratory technician at Assured Bio Labs. She earned a B.S. in Food Science and Technology from the University of Tennessee Knoxville in May of 2020. After graduating she worked at a food microbiology lab in Maryville before joining the Assured Bio team. Her role here mainly centers around DNA sample prep and extraction. During her time off she enjoys spending time with her dogs, playing video games, and creating stained glass.

Daniel Heyes

Daniel Heyes is the Culture Team Lead/Director at Assured Bio Labs. Originally from Brentwood, TN, Daniel attended the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and earned his B.S. in Microbiology in 2009. During his time there he was a member of the UT Fencing club, serving as its president for two years. Prior to joining the Assured Bio team, he worked at Microbac Labs in Maryville, TN for four and half years as a Microbiology Analyst I and later Analyst II. His main duties here at Assured Bio include sample login, Viascans, Legionella, DNA extractions, and general lab maintenance. In his spare time Daniel enjoys socializing with friends, video games, anime, tabletop gaming and weight training.

Daniel Christopher

Daniel Christopher is a Lab Aide at Assured Bio Labs. After graduating high school in 2008, Daniel attended TCAT in Harriman, TN studying website design. While attending TCAT, Daniel also worked for a small grocery chain. After completing his program at TCAT, Daniel continued his employment at the grocery chain where he was later promoted to manager. Around this time, Daniel and his wife had their first child. To allow him to spend more time with his family, Daniel found maintenance work in a private school. After a couple years here, Daniel was looking for a new challenge. This was perfect timing, as Assured Bio was looking for a motivated and fast-learning individual to join our team. As a Lab Aide, Daniel performs product testing and laboratory experiment assistance and support, preparation and quality control of sampling media, inventory tracking and maintenance, data entry and review, and other maintenance and custodial duties as needed.

Mason Jones

Mason Jones is a Lab Technician here at Assured Bio Labs. He earned his B.S in Agriculture from Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, TN in 2021. His primary job duties at Assured Bio are sample login, data entry, Culture and DNA sample prep, and general lab maintenance. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, watching sports, traveling, and golfing.

Business Team

Brittany Sheldon

Brittany Sheldon is the Accounting Manager here at Assured Bio Labs. She earned her B.S. in business and accounting from King University in 2017 and is currently pursing her CPA license.  She has over 13 years of experience in different accounting aspects/programs, budgets, taxes, and benefits. In her free time, Brittany enjoys adventures with her daughter and husband, exploring new breweries/ restaurants, and spending time on their boat in the summer. 

Isaac Sobek

Isaac Sobek is a Business Development Associate here at Assured Bio Labs. After graduating from Oak Ridge High School in 2016, he joined the United States Air Force as a Crew Chief, wrenching on planes at his home station in Washington State and serving 4 months abroad in Turkey and Qatar. After a 4 year contract with the USAF, Isaac left to join the booming cannabis industry of Washington State where he quickly became a leader, overseeing harvest operations at his particular grow facility. Isaac has now moved back to Tennessee and joined the Assured Bio team. His duties here include assisting the business team and focusing on sales and marketing with the goal of boosting company growth and sales. In his free time, Isaac enjoys playing musical instruments, riding motorcycles, and spending time outdoors with his wife.


Deni Sobek

Deni Scar Sobek is a seasoned professional with a strong educational background, holding a B.S. in Botany from Iowa State University and teaching certification from Texas Tech University. She dedicated 22 years to the field of education, teaching various science subjects in high schools across Tennessee and Texas, including AP Environmental Science, Honors Human Anatomy and Physiology, Microbiology, and Biology.

In her recent career shift, Deni has assumed the role of CEO at Assured Bio Labs, where she is leading the company’s new business development efforts. Her focus is particularly on areas such as USP 797, Legionella, and water testing. This transition showcases her adaptability and commitment to exploring new opportunities.

Outside of her professional pursuits, Deni enjoys hobbies like motorcycle riding, gardening, DIY projects, knitting, and spending quality time with her canine companions. Her diverse interests reflect her passion for both her work and personal life.


Edward Sobek, PhD MBA

Dr. Sobek specializes in microbial and chemical issues affecting the built-environment. He and his team at Assured Bio Labs have tackled everything from viral outbreaks in medical facilities, moldy manufactured plastics, Legionella investigations to formaldehyde off-gassing in building materials. They have diagnosed mold and bacteria issues in hundreds of homes, commercial properties and complex manufacturing settings. He has worked on odor and chemical contamination in both residential and commercial properties.  Dr. Sobek’s ability to identify the root cause of contamination truly sets him apart as an outstanding problem solver.

He has examined years of historical microbiological data and the results indicate a major flaw with current detection technologies that completely miss or underestimate the true concentrations of microbes in the built environment. Hence, his insight of microbial DNA analysis and microbial ecology is vital for a successful project outcome. That and his relentless pursuit of scientific solutions are the distinguishing factors sought by the companies that engage his services.

Dr. Sobek is a PhD microbiologist with over 20 years of laboratory and field experience. His vision is to develop industry standards with DNA based diagnostics to replace antiquated technologies that often stymie the microbial investigation process. In order to achieve those aims, he has become an avid entrepreneur and inventor. He invented the novel microbial detection technology called Molecular Entrapment, which he branded into the M-TRAP® air cassette that is a CDC/NIOSH verified technology to capture airborne influenza virus and airborne Legionella pneumophila.

Capabilities and Focus

Industrial Microbiology Manufacturing: Micro-Sensitive Cosmetics, Pharmaceuticals, Food, Natural and Manufactured Wood Products, Pallets, Gypsum Board, Textiles, Leather & Plastics, Aseptic Processing, Gnotobiotics.

Built-Environment Microbiology:  Residential & Commercial Buildings, Legionella in water systems and cooling towers, Micro-sensitive Product Storage, Warehouse Facilities, & Microbial-Induced Environmental Blackening.

LinkedIn Profile

Select Clients

Hinchcliff Products Co., Reynolds Consumer Products, Taconic, Bluegrass Dairy and Food Inc, LEK Inc, Chep, University Hospitals, Tempur-Pedic, Body Blue, Flake Board, CDC/NIOSH, Columbia University, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, United States Air Force

Our Consultants

Timothy M. Young, PHD

Timothy M. Young is a Professor (Full) in the Center for Renewable Carbon at the University of Tennessee (UT). He has Ph.D. in Statistics and M.S. in Statistics (minor – Operations Research) from the University of Tennessee. He also holds M.S. and B.S. degrees from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He has taught highly successful industry courses in
‘Advanced Analytics and Data Mining,’ ‘Process Analytics, Statistical Process Control | Lean Methods,’ and ‘Design of Experiments’ to more than 1,000 industry personnel since 2000.

Dwayne Elias

Dwayne Elias and his company Elias Consulting, LLC serve as a Science Adviser and Scientific Consultant to Assured Bio Labs. Dr. Elias has over 200 peer-reviewed publications and earned his B.Sc. (honors) in Biology at the University of Winnipeg and his M.Sc. in Microbiology from the University of Manitoba, both in Canada, as well as his Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Oklahoma. He also currently serves as an Adjunct Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Duke University, an Associate Professor at the Missouri University of Science and Technology and is an Academic Editor at the journal PLoS One and an Associate Editor at the Frontiers in Microbiology Journal. He was formerly an associate professor at the University of Tennessee, a Research Professor at the University of Missouri, and a Senior Scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory where he was the team leader for Biogeochemical Transformations at Critical Interfaces and the ORNL lead scientist for discovering bacterial networks in ecosystems. Particular research focus areas are the bioremediation of toxic metals and radionuclides, the genetics, physiology, metabolism and biochemistry of environmental bacterial isolates, and the construction of model microbial communities for mechanistic studies and industrially relevant applications.

Olga Khaliukova

Olga Khaliukova is a Scientific Consultant at the Assured Bio Labs. She earned a B.S. in Management from the National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine, Kyiv in 2011 and her M.S. in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 2013. She is a member of American Industrial Hygiene Association and American Statistical Association. Olga has a great interest in process improvement and optimization and is currently working on her Lean Six Sigma Green Belt. She volunteers at YWAC where she is a member of a team that manages Dogs Playing for Life program.

Brandon Hall

Brandon Hall is a scientific consultant for Assured Bio. He graduated from the University of Tennessee with a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology, and a minor in Philosophy. After graduating, he worked in pharmaceutical research identifying drug stability in topical applications, tracking absorption rates of various molecule sizes across skin membranes, and worked on developing a method for DNA extraction from human saliva. He is currently attending Boston University working towards his Masters in Public Health with a focus of Bio Statistics. In his free time, he enjoys trying new hobbies, disc golf, the science and art of fermentation, snowboarding, kayaking, hiking and backpacking, and high adrenaline activities.

Annie Furches

Annie Furches serves as Scientific Adviser and Lead Scientific Consultant to Assured Bio. She earned a B.S. in Plant Biology and an M.S. in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology from the University of Tennessee. Previously, she served as Interim Lab Manager, Lead Scientist, and Quality Assurance Officer at Assured Bio. She is currently pursuing an Advanced Short Term Research Opportunity (ASTRO) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in genetic and metabolic engineering. In her spare time, she enjoys conducting botanical fieldwork and collaborating on genetic research projects at Lincoln Memorial University with her husband, Dr. M. Steven Furches.

Ryne Dlouhy

Ryne Dlouhy is a professional business consultant serving in the capacity of Corporate Development at Assured Bio Labs. He has previously held the positions of Vice President of Corporate Development and Vice President of Business Development at Assured Bio, before transitioning to a consulting capacity. He has also held positions outside of Assured Bio in sales, customer service, accounting, and finance. He is an entrepreneur who has started and built several successful companies and enjoys the ongoing puzzle of helping businesses to grow and thrive. He earned his B.S. in Finance and Business Administration in 2014 and is currently pursuing his MBA. In his free time, Ryne is a bluegrass guitarist and has served as a board member of the Great Plains Bluegrass & Old Time Music Association. He also enjoys volunteering at two summer youth camps, RFKC and TRAC.

Greg Adkins

Greg Adkins and his company New Frame Creative provide marketing and technology assistance to the Assured Bio team, including keeping the website running in top shape and assistance with other marketing campaigns and technology solutions. Greg is a sixth-generation Knoxvillian who created his first website in 1994 from his dorm room at the University of Tennessee. Greg is a 2020 graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program and is also a lead trainer at the Alliance for Better Nonprofits in Knoxville. In his free time, Greg enjoys traveling with his family, playing the piano, and collecting vinyl records.

Michael Seale

Michael Seale serves as a digital marketing advisor at Assured Bio Labs. In 2019, Michael earned his B.S. in Business Administration, Marketing from the University of Tennessee’s Haslam School of Business. He currently specializes in digital/traditional marketing, graphic design, and videography/photography production. Mike enjoys playing golf, photography and going on hiking trips up to Smokey Mountain National Park.