November 7, 2018
Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics Seminar welcomes Philip Bates from Washington State University
Philip D. Bates, assistant professor in the Institute of Biological Chemistry at Washington State University, is the featured speaker for Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics Seminar at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 7, in 120 Ackert Hall. He will present "Illuminating Bottlenecks within Plant Oil Engineering: What Controls Fatty Acid Flux?"
Bates earned his doctorate in biochemistry and molecular biology from Michigan State University in 2008. He then accepted a position as postdoctoral research scientist in the Institute of Biological Chemistry at Washington State University. He remained at Washington State University for five years before beginning his independent research lab in biochemistry at University of Southern Mississippi as an assistant professor. In August 2018, he took the opportunity to return to Washington State University in the Institute of Biological Chemistry as an assistant professor.
Presentation abstract: The fatty acids in plant oils represent essential nutrients for humans, and also a huge diversity of chemical structures that can be utilized as renewable feedstocks for the chemical industry or as biofuels. The age of genetic engineering has promised designer plants with oil fatty acid compositions tailored to meet specific needs. However, with very few exceptions engineering of plant oils has had very limited success. This fact alone indicates we are still missing pieces to the plant oil metabolic puzzle. My lab combines genetic engineering with analysis of lipid metabolic fluxes to further elucidate the plant lipid metabolic network, and find the bottlenecks that may be limiting our ability to produce the designer plant oils of the future.