samoanewEDUCATION:

  •  Texas A&M University, B.S. in Plant Science, Genetics Minor, College Station, TX May 2013

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Email jeffwong@lbl.gov
Phone 541-223-8681
Office 4510U
Bench 4550-007
Address Joint BioEnergy Institute, LBNL 5885 Hollis Street, Fourth Floor Emeryville, CA 94608

Current Research

Diterpenes are an enormous class of molecules with crucial roles in plant primary metabolism, including hormone and chlorophyll biosynthesis, as well as for defense against herbivory. With over 55,000 terpene structures known, plant-derived terpenoids provide a variety of medicines, scents, and flavors. Phorbol esters and the related compounds, casbanes, lathyranes, jatrophanes, and ingenanes, are solely produced in Euphorbiaceae and Thymelaceae species.

Recently, these diterpenes have gained interest due to their unique anticancer and anti-HIV effects, as well as their vascular-relaxing, neuro-protective, anti-inflammatory, and immune-modulatory activities. Despite the wealth of research regarding clinical studies of Euphorbiaceae-derived diterpenes, their biosynthesis is poorly understood; thus, I aim to identify the biosynthetic genes involved in the several steps of phorbol ester biosynthesis.

Publications

  • “Conserved transacting small interfering RNAs (tasiRNAs) regulate plant innate immune receptor orthologues Nb and Bs4” (Li, F., Kamei, A., Zhang, Z., Marano, M., Khung, H., Tung, J., Wong, J., and Baker, B.) (manuscript in prep.)
  • “DCL4-dependent miRNAs regulate the Cf family of receptor-like protein resistance genes” (Li, F., Wong, J., Josephson-Day, A., Tung, J., and Baker, B.) (manuscript in preparation)

Awards

Berkeley Fellowship

PacBio “Most Interesting Genome in the World 2015” Grant