Recognizing Plant Physiology first authors: Cătălin Voiniciuc

Cătălin Voiniciuc, first author of Identification of Key Enzymes for Pectin Synthesis in Seed Mucilage

Current Position: Research Associate at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf

Education: Ph.D., summa cum laude (RWTH Aachen University), M.Sc. (University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada), B.Sc., with distinction (University of British Columbia)

Non-scientific Interests: Family-friendly activities, football, and exploring Germany

Brief bio: Throughout the last eight years, I have addressed outstanding questions in the production of plant cell wall polysaccharides, the most abundant organic polymers on Earth. My graduate research focused on the isolation and characterization of Arabidopsis seed mucilage mutants, and ultimately enabled me to work in three excellent labs in Canada, Germany and France. By via multiple approaches, I discovered important regulators of mucilage polysaccharide structure and function. In May 2016, I joined the Institute for Plant Cell Biology and Biotechnology in Düsseldorf to lead a synthetic biology team that applies genetic engineering and carbohydrate biochemistry to decipher the biosynthesis of plant polysaccharides using yeast as heterologous hosts. From January 2019, I will start an independent research group at the Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry in Halle, which will concentrate on gaining mechanistic insight into the synthesis of matrix polysaccharides.