Why “Cellular Metabolism and Engineering”?
The basic building block of life is the cell. Although metabolism is integrated between tissues and organs in an organism, metabolic pathways themselves typically exist and function within individual cells. Thus, in order to understand how metabolism truly functions in an organism, we must understand how it functions in individual cells. In order to engineer metabolism, a goal which has received much attention lately due to problems with fuel and food shortages, we must understand not only how metabolism is structured but also how it is regulated and controlled. Again, that occurs at the cellular level. Thus, a major goal of the Gang lab is to understand metabolism in individual plant cell types.
We are also interested in how metabolism is integrated within the whole physiology of the plant body and how it is regulated and controlled within organs such as rhizomes or glandular trichomes.