Irnayuli Sitepu, Ph.D. was born in Bogor, Indonesia. Dr. Sitepu earned her masters degree from Adelaide University, Australia; and doctoral degree from Hokkaido University, Japan, in the field of plant-microbe interactions.
Right before joining i3L, Dr. Sitepu was a postdoctoral scholar at Phaff Yeast Culture Collection, University of California Davis, USA where her main focus was screening yeasts for biodiesel and other oleochemical productions. She was fortunate to have direct access to over 8,000 yeast strains in the collection and enjoyed tapping this treasure for bioprospective studies, such as oleaginous yeast for biodiesel, surfactant, carotenoid pigment; and high protein yeast for pet food using high throughput microbial screening methods (molecular and phenotype based screens).
From 1995 – 2014, Dr. Sitepu worked as Research Microbiologist, FORDA, the Ministry of Forestry, Indonesia.
Dr. Sitepu brought with her to i3L, her experience working in academic and government agency scientific research settings in Indonesia, USA, Australia and Japan.


  • USAID PEER Cycle 4 (2015 – 2018): Developing a bioeconomy in Indonesia:
    Identification of novel microorganisms and microbial enzymes from Indonesian peatland and buffaloes to improve bioconversion of palm oil residues. Collaboration between i3L and UC Davis, USA.

Selected Past Research Project Involvements

  • 2008-2014: National Institute of Health (NIH)-International Cooperative Biodiversity Groups: “Biodiversity Surveys in Indonesia and Discovery of Health and Energy Solutions”, UC Davis,
  • 2014-2015: Sloan Grants in the Microbiology of the Built Environment Program: “To examine the seasonal nature of the built environment microbiota in wine- and cheese-making facilities”, UC Davis.
  • 2015-2016: Stair (Support translational science and innovative research) Grants, UC Davis: “Structure and activities of biosurfactants produced through a renewable, yeast-based, reduced cost process”, UC Davis.

Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications

  • Boundy-Mills, K., Hess, M., Bennett, A.R., Ryan, M., Kang, S., Nobles, D., Eisen, J.A., Inderbitzin, P., Sitepu, I.R., Torok, T. 2015. The United States Culture Collection Network (USCCN): Enhancing Microbial Genomics Research through Living Microbe Culture Collections. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, AEM. 01176-15.
  • Sitepu, I., Shi, S., Simmons, B., Singer, S., Boundy-Mills, K.L.; Simmons, C. 2014. Yeast tolerance to the ionic liquid 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate. FEMS Yeast Research 14, 1286-1294.  DOI: 10.1111/1567-1364.12224.
  • Sitepu IR, Garay, L.A., Sestric, R., Levin, D., Block, D. E., German, J.B., Boundy-Mills, K.L. 2014. Oleaginous yeasts for biodiesel: Current and future trends in biology and production. Biotechnology advances 32, 1336-1360.
  • Sitepu IR, Jin M, Fernandez JE, da Costa Sousa L, Balan V and Boundy-Mills KL. 2014 Identification of oleaginous yeast strains able to accumulate high intracellular lipids when cultivated in alkaline pretreated corn stover. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 98, 7645-7657.
  • Sitepu, IR, T. Selby, T. Lin, S. Zhu, and K. Boundy-Mills. 2014. Carbon source utilization and inhibitor tolerance of 45 oleaginous yeast species. J Industrial Microbioology and Biotechnology., 1-10.

SitepuI.R.  Sestric, R.,  Ignatia, L., Levin, D.,  German, J.B., Gillies, L.A.,  Almada, L.A.G., Boundy-Mills, K. L.2013. Manipulation of culture conditions alters lipid content and fatty acid profiles of a wide variety of known and new oleaginous yeasts speciesBioresource Technology 144:36.-369.

  • Sitepu, I.R., Ignatia, L., Franz, A.K., Wong, D.M., Faulina, S.A., Tsui, M., Kanti, A.,  Boundy-Mills, K. 2012. An improved high-throughput Nile red fluorescence assay for estimating intracellular lipids in a variety of yeast species. J. Microbiol. Methods., 91(2): 321-328.

You can find more information on Dr. Sitepu in this link :