Research Interests (300 words)
I study the medicinal plant, Catharanthus roseus, commonly known as Madagascar Periwinkle. C. roseus is the only plant in the world that makes the important anti-cancer compounds, vinblastine and vincristine, which are currently used to successfully treat lymphoma. I am interested in understanding what transcription factor proteins are involved in activating or repressing the biosynthesis of vinblastine. If we can identify transcription factors, we might be able to genetically engineer plants that produce more vinblastine, bringing down the cost of this life-saving drug.