People: Plant Biochemistry
Assistant Professor of Entomology
Behavior and chemical ecology of multi-trophic interactions, including plant responses to below-ground herbivory and nematode. Insect community ecology, chemical ecology, and coevolution. Trophic cascades, above- and below-ground interactions, chemotaxis of soil nematodes, and evolution of plant defense strategies.
Co-Director, Center for RNA Molecular Biology; Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Roles of RNA-binding proteins in plant physiology. Plant ribonomics. Identification and characterization of functional RNAs in plants.
Ernest C. Pollard Professor of Biotechnology; Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Photosynthesis, structure-function relationships of proteins, gene regulation, and microbial physiology. Cyanobacteria and green sulfur bacteria. Genomics of photosynthetic bacteria.
Eberly Chair and Professor of Biology
Mechanism of plant growth. Function and evolution of expansins. Biochemistry and rheology of plant cell walls. Growth responses to light, hormones, and water stress and other stimuli.
Professor of Chemical Engineering
Regulation and signal transduction in plant secondary metabolism. Phytoremediation of hydrocarbons. Commercial chemical production in plants and plant tissue culture.
Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Structural and functional basis of cellulose synthesis. Using Physcomitrella patens and other organisms as model systems, we are learning how plants make cellulose for building new cell wall. The studies use methods of molecular biology and cryoEM to characterize the enzyme as a monomer, and when it assembles into its larger 'Cellulose Synthase Complex '(CSC for short). The aim is to understand cellulose synthesis to explain fundamentals of cell wall biology in plants, and to enable manipulation of its synthesis for applications in fields of bioenergy and materials.