Her project is titled "Photosynthetic Response to Abiotic Stress in Prochlorococcus, a Globally Important Marine Cyanobacterium." It addresses the remarkable differences in genomes of several Prochlorococcus strains and the implications of these differences for photosynthesis and acclimation to environmental stress.
"These differences have evolved in response to selection pressures in the ocean environment," she explained. "The Prochlorococcus MED4 strain, for instance, has been found to be missing several genes encoding proteins associated with the biological apparatus crucial to photosynthesis and proteins that are critical in the acclimation response to specific environmental stresses."
Ting's goal is to determine how genomic differences become advantages in the capacity for photosynthesis of cyanobacteria under certain environmental conditions. She will also examine the molecular responses and mechanisms triggered by changes in environmental factors, such as light and temperature. It is critical in the context of potential global climate changes to understand the effects of temperature on the photosynthetic capabilities of this ecologically important marine cyanobacterium.
She hopes that the project will lead to a marked improvement in the ability to accurately model primary production in ocean ecosystems, as well as to a better understanding of the mechanics and evolution of photosynthesis.
The project will involve a number of undergraduate students in scientific research. Students participating in this project will become familiar with state-of-the-art technology used in this field of study and have a chance to participate in n ational scientific meetings.
Recently the Woodrow Wilson Foundation also has recognized Ting. She was awarded a Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation Career Enhancement Fellowship for Junior Faculty for 2006-07 for her effectiveness as a college teacher and for her scholarship. Her teaching was previously honored, twice by the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award by Cornell University.
Ting has won a number of grants for research in biosciences related to the environment, including an NSF-NATO postdoctoral research fellowship in science and engineering at the Institute of Biological Physical Chemistry in Paris, France. Her research has been published in journals including Plant Physiology, Microbiology, and Genome Research.
She graduated from Yale University and received her Ph.D. in plant physiology, biochemistry and microbiology from Cornell. Following postdoctoral work at MIT, she joined the faculty at Williams College, where she has been teaching and conducting research since 2003.
Related biology news :
1. Genpathway and Baylor College of Medicine Identify New Genes in Breast Cancer
2. Researcher at UGA College of Veterinary Medicine identifies new way of combating viral diseases
3. Smooth sailing: cruise ship virus tackled by UH, Baylor College of Medicine
4. Octopuses occasionally stroll around on two arms, UC Berkeley biologists report
5. GeneNotes - A novel information management software for biologists
6. NYU biologists map out early stages of embryo formation
7. FSU biologists describe key role of signal-transcribing gene during cell cycle
8. Jefferson biologist coaxing human embryonic stem cells to make dopamine with simpler, faster method
9. High-tech tags on marine animals yield valuable data for biologists and oceanographers
10. UCSD biologists find new evidence for one-way evolution
11. FSU biologist says new dinosaur is oldest cousin of Tyrannosaurus rex