Meet the Team


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 grossly underestimate the true concentrations of microbes in the built environment. Hence, his insight and mastery 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.

Expert Witness:  An experienced Testifying and Non-Testifying Expert across specialty areas.

LinkedIn Profile:

Select Clients

Hinchcliff Products Co.

Reynolds Consumer Products


Bluegrass Dairy and Food Inc



University Hospitals


Body Blue

Flake Board


Columbia University

Oak Ridge National Laboratory


Olga Khaliukova

KhaliukovaOlga Khaliukova is a Laboratory Manager/Quality Assurance Officer 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.



Dylan Graves, CMI

Dylan Graves

Dylan Graves is the Operations Manager and Lead Investigator at Assured Bio. He successfully completed the Certified Mold Inspector program at the University of Tennessee in 2012. His education coupled with over 6 years of experience as a microscopist are utilized in commercial, industrial, and residential property inspections. Dylan is currently pursuing an Associate Degree and plans to complete a B.S. in microbiology. He is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys backpacking, hunting, fishing, and disc golfing.



Doris Dills

Doris Dills is the Office Manager at Assured Bio. Doris has over 17 years’ managerial and administrative experience. She spent the last 12 years serving as an Office Manager in the construction industry, and has a strong customer service record. She is also an experienced residential and commercial construction estimator. In her free time Doris enjoys a wide variety of activities including spending time with family and friends, crocheting, furniture refinishing, shooting sports, and traveling.



Cody Tweedie

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAbHAAAAJDc0YTdiNzRhLWE3OWEtNGU2Mi04Y2M5LTI1YzMzMDRiZWZmOQCody Tweedie is the Business Manager at Assured Bio. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 2016. Originally from Washington state, Cody has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity assisting with accounting and the African-American Heritage Association recording undocumented slave cemeteries in East Tennessee. In his spare time he enjoys outdoor activities such as fishing, skeet shooting, camping, disc golf and he has hiked over 250 miles in the Great Smoky Mountains.




Joshua Birkebak, PhD

Joshua Birkebak is a Lab Analyst at Assured Bio. He earned a B.S. in Plant Science from the University of Washington in 2009 and his Ph.D. at the University of Tennessee in August of 2015. Joshua has over 12 years’ experience in mycology, including taxonomy/systematics, genetics, microscopy, culture technique, and herbarium work. He has conducted fieldwork in Costa Rica, Thailand, and throughout North America. He is a member of the North American Mycological Association, and is passionate about educational and citizen outreach opportunities. In his spare time, Joshua enjoys hunting mushrooms.



Marcus Reed

Marcus Reed is a Laboratory Analyst at Assured Bio. He is from Rockwood, Tennessee. He attended Roane State Community college where he earned an Associate of Science in Biology. After transferring to the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Marcus earned a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology. Outside work, he is an avid Tennessee Volunteer football and basketball fan. Marcus also enjoys playing guitar, golfing, video games, and cinema.




Cody Lively

Cody Lively is a Laboratory Technician at Assured Bio who performs a variety of tasks. He conducts water testing for different contaminants such as E.Coli and Legionella sp. He also contributes with his knowledge of fungal identification. Cody attended Pellissippi State Technical Community College where he graduated with an Associate of Science degree. In his free time he is quite adventurous and enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking, and extreme sports.




Alaina Sexton

AlainaAlaina Sexton is a Laboratory Technician at Assured Bio. She has knowledge in fungal identifications and also performs water testing such as Coliform/E. Coli, along with other water analysis. Alaina has 5 years of customer service experience. In her free time she enjoys spending time with family, visiting local zoos and aquariums, traveling, fishing, exploring the outdoors, sports, event planning, as well as arts and crafts.




Steve Furches, Ph.D

Steve is a Lab Analyst at Assured Bio. After receiving his B.S. in Environmental Health, he spent six years as an Environmental Health Officer in the U.S. Public Health Service, serving the Yankton Sioux Tribe in South Dakota. After receiving his M.S. in Biology from the University of South Dakota, he attended the University of Tennessee, where he received a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in 2012. For the last five years he has been a botany professor at Lincoln Memorial University. His areas of expertise include molecular genetics, population genetics, botany and field botany.





Annie Furches

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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.



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.