SURF

Jordan Tsai

A Neurospora crassa Serine-threonine Kinsae Involved in the Transition to Cellulolytic Metabolism

I am studying the degradation of plant biomass in the fungal model organism Neurospora crassa. The study of plant biomass degradation is important because it will both help us understand the molecular mechanisms behind this essential ecological process, and may also aid in the production of biofuels derived from lignocellulosic biomass, which could serve as an alternative to petroleum based fuels. Previous genetic analysis has implicated a N. crassa serine-threonine kinase in the cellulolytic metabolism pathway, but its molecular mechanisms remain unknown. I want to investigate the role of this kinase in cellulolytic metabolism, and how the primary structure relates to its function as a signal transducer.

Message to Sponsor

I am very thankful for receiving the SURF award and I am excited to be part of the 2012 cohort. The SURF award will help me grow as a scientific researcher as I apply my academic skills to the cutting-edge research environment. The SURF experience gives me the opportunity to communicate science to a general audience, formulate insightful questions and experiments to test them, work closely with faculty members, and develop my interest in the molecular biology field. SURF prepares me for future graduate studies and more importantly confirms my decision to pursue it.
  • Major: Molecular and Cell Biology, Chemical Biology
  • Sponsor: Rose Hills Foundation
  • Mentor: Jamie Cate, Molecular and Cell Biology