My laboratory has a diverse set of overlapping research programs ranging from plant biology to medical sciences to more industry driven research.
Within the field of plant molecular and cell biology we focus on two fundamental processes in plants, plastid division and Fe-S cluster biogenesis in plastids and mitochondria. Plastid division is controlled by a number of proteins that act together in complex protein machineries. These protein complexes ensure that plastids divide appropriately so that each plant cell has the correct complement of plastids. We identify new proteins involved in the plastid division pathway, analyse their protein-protein interaction characteristics and dissect control mechanisms.
Fe-S clusters act as prosthetic groups for a number of Fe-S proteins involved in vital biological processes. In plants Fe-S cluster biogenesis represents a vital process where defective Fe-S cluster biogenesis often results in lethality. A multitude of proteins are involved in assembling Fe-S clusters in plastids and mitochondria and we identify new Fe-S cluster biogenesis proteins and analyse their molecular mechanisms.
In collaboration with The Norwegian Centre for Movement Disorders at Stavanger University Hospital we have a research program focusing on understanding molecular and cellular mechanisms associated with Parkinson?s Disease. We are dissecting how central proteins change their characteristics and behaviour in various disease states in addition to analysing cellular mechanisms associated with the disease. We take a unique approach combining zebra fish models, plant models, mammalian cells and clinical material.
Our fundamental research on plastid biology in plants has allowed us to design new methods to engineer the plastid genome for recombinant protein production and for trait design. We have developed a patented selection and regeneration method and we are currently using this technology to produce proteins of medical importance and for the development of new crops with increased biofuel potential. See plastid.no for further details.
Professor Nam-Hai Chua, Rockcfeller University, New York, USA
Professor Jurgen Soll, Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich, Germany
Professor Jan Petter Larsen, Stavanger University Hospital, Norway
Professor Kathryn Lilley, University of Cambridge, UK
Professor Mike McPherson, University of Leeds, UK
Professor Cathrine Lillo, CORE, University of Stavanger, Norway
Dr Guido Alves, Stavanger University Hospital, Norway
Dr Morten Sivertsvik, Nofima Norconserv AS, Stavanger, Norway