Adjunct Assistant Professor
My focus over the past several years has been on developing tools and resources for the analysis of cereal crop genomes. We are now generating a large sequence indexed collection of maize transposons that will be used by the maize research community in functional genomics studies. We have also developed techniques and statistical tools for the analysis of gene expression profiles in maize. In the coming years, I hope to move my research toward utilizing these tools in the analysis of light response and C4 photosynthesis in some of the most promising biofuels feedstocks.
There are three major projects underway in my lab 1) The development of genome-wide insertional mutagenesis programs in maize 2) The molecular genetic dissection of light signal transduction pathways in maize and 3) The characterization of C4 photosynthetic pathways in maize. One application of this research is to engineer crop plants for improved feed, fuel and fiber traits.
I have led development of a Cornell Summer Internship Program that teams high school and undergraduate students with high school teachers, graduate students and postdoctoral associates for an eight-week summer program (http://bti.cornell.edu/pgrp/). This program was designed to encourage interaction between research scientists, students and educators and increase the participation of students from traditionally underrepresented groups in NSF-funded research. Over the past year we have expanded this program to include a high school teacher training program that will introduce plant sciences into the high school curriculum.
I have taught both lab and lecture courses for graduate students. My emphasis has been on teaching the basic concepts and techniques underlying recent molecular studies. I have given labs on microarray analysis, maize genetics, gene cloning and sequence analysis. I have given lectures on transposable elements, light signaling and plant development.