Senior Research Scientist
Washington State University
Institute of Biological Chemistry
239 Clark Hall
Pullman, WA 99164
Novel Microbial Based Enzymatic CO2 Fixation Mechanisms
Original research focuses on the characterization of this unique enzyme that is responsible for the microbial metabolism of acetone, detailed characterization of novel metabolic pathways that couple the metabolism of potentially deleterious compounds to CO2 fixation. The results obtained reveal new insights into novel carboxylation reactions and provide the basis for the comparison of the mechanism of this interesting enzyme to other well-characterized CO2 fixing and carboxylating enzymes.
Engineering Synthetic Symbioses Between Plants and Bacteria to Deliver Nitrogen To Crops
A key part of developing synthetic symbioses to deliver nitrogen to non-legume crops (e.g. cereals) is to recognize the barriers to substantial rates of nitrogen fixation by bacteria and the transfer of fixed-N (as ammonium) to the plant. To overcome these barriers for both plant and bacteria, several approaches have been developed : 1) engineer synthetic nif clusters optimized for nitrogen fixation by bacteria that may lack or have inefficient nif genes; 2) engineer respiratory protection and O2-binding proteins to allow aerobic nitrogen fixation by bacteria ; 3) conditionally suppress ammonium assimilation by bacteria to ensure N-delivery to plants; 4) ensure effective uptake of ammonium by plant cells; 5) optimize carbon supply from roots to bacteria; 6) integrate plant colonization, nitrogen fixation and environmental impact of engineered strains. All these approaches greatly contribute to the field of biological nitrogen fixation.
2005 Ph.D. Molecular Biology and Biotechnologies, University Aix-Marseille II (France)