About “Rolf Prade”


He is a biologist with a traditional education in biochemical genetics applied to microorganisms. Accordingly, he learned how to simplify elaborate biological phenomena, and focus on elementary gene-protein subsets. His scientific interest emphasizes biological views of how and why simple eukaryotes decide to convert one functional molecule into another. For example plant cell walls are polymers that contain simple sugars that fungi can access and utilize as a source of food, however, they have to recognize these complex and recalcitrant polymers and convert them into simple sugars – glucose.

Extramural funding has focused his research on the development of large-scale bioinformatics and molecular genetics tools for sensory mechanisms in Aspergillus nidulans. They have made contributions to two model processes; the stress response and the question of carbon source regulation, specifically the genetics of recognition of complex carbon sources. Currently, we are involved in a meta-proteogenomic effort to determine biomass-degrading enzymes which function at extremely high temperatures (95 C). These enzymes are useful to further engineer crop plants (corn) the biomass source for biofuel production. Moreover, they also develop protein expression/secretion systems that enable large-scale protein production employing a gene-silencing strategy.

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