Office: 214 TBL
Phone: (413) 597-4053
Area of Interest: Plant Biology and Microbiology
- B.A., Yale University
- M.S. and Ph.D., Cornell University
- National Science Foundation/ NATO Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute of Biological Physical Chemistry (Paris, France)
- NSF Postdoctoral Fellow in Biosciences Related to the Environment, Division of Cellular and Molecular Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Photosynthesis is a fundamental biological process upon which the majority of Earth’s life depends. One area my laboratory is addressing is how differences at the genome level between closely related photosynthetic organisms translate into selective physiological advantages in photosynthetic capacity and in tolerance to abiotic stress. For this project we are focusing on two environmentally important marine cyanobacteria, Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus. These are the most abundant photosynthetic prokaryotes in the world’s oceans and they play a key role in marine primary production.
Although Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus share close phylogenetic ties, they have evolved striking differences in their photosynthetic apparatus and biological responses to major environmental factors. In our investigations of the molecular response of these cyanobacteria to abiotic stress, we are focusing on a key group of proteins called the molecular chaperones. Current models of chaperone regulation and function in protein folding and stabilization, transport, and protein degradation are based primarily on experiments with non-photosynthetic organisms.
For publications, see the following database listing: