I am a second year Bioinformatics Ph.D. student and an NSF IGERT plant systems biology fellow. My current research interests include development and use of genome-scale in silico metabolic models and engineering of organisms for increased production of commodity chemicals. Outside my life of science, I enjoy tennis, gardening, and listening to music.
Current Research:Engineering of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii for Biofuel Production
The current global energy crisis has raised interest in development of renewable energy sources. Photoautotrophs offer an intriguing potential new source of fuels, including ethanol, hydrogen, biodiesel, and higher energy long-chain hydrocarbons. Photosynthetic algae, such as C. reinhardtii, produce comparatively high yields of lipids and long-chain hydrocarbons and do not require the use of arable land for mass culture. The concurrent recent advancements in computational modeling of metabolism not only facilitate understanding of metabolic processes but also enable predictions to be generated that may guide the genetic engineering of organisms toward such specific ends as biofuel production. In the lab of Bernhard Palsson (UCSD Bioengineering), I am developing a genome-scale metabolic network reconstruction of C. reinhardtii for the purpose of studying the coupling of photosynthesis to the synthetic pathways for high energy compounds that may serve to replace or reduce global dependency on fossil fuels. In conjunction with this work, I am developing an RNAi-based system for targeted manipulation of metabolic pathways in C. reinhardtii in the lab of Stephen Mayfield (The Scripps Research Institute). The primary aim of this project is to engineer strains of algae that may be used for more efficient production of biofuels.
Manichaikul A, Lin C, Hom EFY, Chang RL, Murray RR, Ghamsari L, Chavali AK, Yang X, Palsson BO, Salehi-Ashtiani K, Papin JA. A metabolic network reconstruction of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and in silico verification of associated transcripts. (Manuscript in preparation.)
Chang RL, Luo F, Johnson S, Scheuermann RH. Deterministic Graph-Theoretic Algorithm for Detecting Modules in Biological Interaction Networks. (To appear in Proceedings of BIOT-2008.)
Luo F, Yang Y, Chen CF, Chang RL, Zhou J, Scheuermann RH. Modular organization of protein interaction networks. Bioinformatics. 2007 Jan 15;23(2):207-14.
University of California, San Diego
B.A. Molecular and Cell Biology
University of California, Berkeley