- Texas A&M University, B.S. in Plant Science, Genetics Minor, College Station, TX May 2013
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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.
- “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)
PacBio “Most Interesting Genome in the World 2015” Grant