MAS BioEnergy

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Mas BioEnergy

Program Leadership

Ken Reardon Ken Reardon:
Professor Reardon's group has two avenues of research related to enhanced biofuels production.  One is the use of experimental systems biology tools, especially proteomics, to characterize microorganisms, followed by metabolic engineering to modify and improve the performance of those microorganisms.  This can be applied to algae to improve lipid production (biomass production area), or to fermentative microorganisms to improve the bioconversion of biomass to fuels and other chemicals.  The second area is the design of novel bioreactors and bioprocesses, such as the conversion of waste algal biomass to higher-value products.  The PhD students in Prof. Reardon's group may receive their degrees from the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, The Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology, or the Cell and Molecular Biology Program.
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Dan Bush Dan Bush:
Dr. Bush’s research focuses on sugar and amino acid allocation from sites of primary assimilation to import-dependent sinks in plants. This is a fundamental process that allows plants to function as multicellular organisms. We use molecular, genetic and biochemical tools to define the mechanisms and regulation of this essential process.
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Jan Leach Jan Leach:
Dr. Leach’s research focuses on increasing cellulosic biomass production in plants, particularly grass species. We are using rice (Oryza sativa) as a model system to identify plant genes involved in biomass accumulation because of the powerful genetic and genomic resources in rice, and because, despite our historic selection away from biomass production for food-production purposes, rice has all the genes necessary for high biomass productivity. The biomass-related genes will be used to expedite improvement of productivity in candidate biomass plants (switchgrass, Miscanthus). All current projects involve collaborations with other labs in the USA and internationally.,Jan.html
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Keith Paustian Keith Paustian:
Biofuels offer promise as a renewable energy source capable of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from fossil fuels and reducing dependency on foreign oil. However, not all biofuels are ‘created equal’ in terms of their value in replacing fossil fuels. That value depends not only on the amount and useable energy of the biofuel produced, but also on the GHG emissions associated with the entire production and supply chain, from feedstock production to refining to distribution and end use – which together determine the net GHG offset value of a biofuel product. In addition, a sustainable biofuel industry must be able to produce high value biofuels while maintaining (or improving) soil, water and air quality. Dr. Paustian’s research focuses on the environmental impact assessment of biofuel feedstock production, focusing on ‘inside the farm-gate’ processes, and on integrating this information with process engineers, economists and policy analysts to obtain a full picture of the costs, benefits and tradeoffs of biofuel production systems.
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Program Management

Barbara Gibson

Barbara Gibson: Program Coordinator

MAS BioEnergy
National Science Foundation

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