Recent progress in cell and molecular biology is clarifying many key aspects of plant hormone biosynthesis, transport and signaling. Still lacking, however, is a comprehensive view of how these molecules move within and between cells.
My research focuses on biophysical and biochemical aspects of plant hormones, and the long-range transport systems that move hormones around the plant. Computer simulations are used to model hormone transport and its role in plant development. Biophysical theory and software predictors are used to relate the chemical properties of hormone molecules to their distinct functions within the plant. I have several ongoing research collaborations with plant biologists interested in quantitative approaches. This includes a visiting research fellowship at the Center for Plant Integrative Biology (CPIB) in Nottingham, U.K.
My research also has an experimental component. With Tobias Baskin at UMass Amherst, I have a grant from the National Science Foundation to measure the transport of small molecules in plant roots. Results will be used to improve the accuracy of computer models of hormone transport, and should also be useful for those interested in plant metabolism and nutrition.