The National Science Foundation has awarded a three-year research grant of $842,000 to the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa to support investigations of enzyme-mediated protein folding in plants and for outreach education in the plant molecular biosciences. The project is lead by professor David Christopher, of UH Mānoa's Department of Molecular Biosciences & Bioengineering.
Protein folding is a critical process essential for the activity and function of numerous enzymes and structural proteins. In particular, it plays a major role in formation and protein content of seeds, which is important for agricultural yields and grain nutrition. Methods developed in this research will also provide solutions for enzyme stability problems for environmental remediation, treating crop diseases and industrial uses.
Through the assistance of co-investigators, Dr. John Berestecky and Dr. Maile Goo, the project also supports a synergistic partnership with the community colleges and undergraduate research experiences. Opportunities for students and faculty are provided to learn state-of-the art methods in plant genomics, molecular and cellular biology and biochemistry. 2010 is the sixth year of operation of this project.
For more information, visit: http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/mbbe/Christopher.html