Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
I have two major projects for my thesis. The first is identifying new pectin biosynthetic enzymes in Arabidopsis thaliana through heterologous expression of putative enzymes in HEK293 cells. The second is a detailed cell wall analysis of switchgrass modified in one of these enzymes. My goal is to increase our fundamental understanding of cell wall biosynthesis and use that knowledge to modify biofeedstock crops to enhance their capacity for biofuel production.