The overall goal of the joint laboratory of Alan Myers and Martha James is to provide a comprehensive understanding of starch metabolism in higher plants. This problem is important owing to the facts that more than half of the calories in the human diet worldwide originate from starch, and that starch offers a renewable source of chemical energy and industrial raw material. Starch biosynthesis also is of fundamental interest considering that the process is central in the conversion of electromagnetic energy to chemical energy utilized by our biosphere. Also of interest is how enzymes are able to catalyze the formation of a homopolymer with a specific architecture.
Area of Expertise:
Molecular mechanisms of starch assembly and disassembly
Plant functional genomics
B.S., Biological Science, Carnegie Mellon University, 1977
Ph.D., Genetics, Duke University, 1983
Postdoctoral Fellow, Columbia University, 1983-1986