Sajina Bhandari: Plant Physiology First Author

Sajina Bhandari, first author of “Triacylglycerol remodeling in Physaria fendleri indicates oil accumulation is dynamic and not a metabolic endpoint”

Current Position: PhD candidate, Institute of Biological Chemistry, Washington State University (WSU), Pullman, WA

Education: BS in Biotechnology, Purbanchal University, Nepal

Non-scientific Interests: Traveling and Cooking

Brief bio: I am currently a PhD candidate in Dr. Philip Bates’s Lab at Institute of Biological Chemistry, WSU. Bates’s Lab is focused on understanding the complex metabolic networks in plant oil biosynthesis pathway. It is very fascinating to see that different plants produce several unusual fatty acids and store them as seed oil, which has a wide range of industrial uses. My research project in Bates’s Lab involves deciphering the pathway for seed oil biosynthesis in Physaria fendleri. I used isotopic labeling experiments to trace the flux into these complex networks and elucidated previously unidentified key steps to make storage lipids in P. fendleri seeds. In addition to this, I am using transgenic approaches to identify the genes involved in oil biosynthesis in plants specifically producing industrially important fatty acids. I feel fortunate and proud to be a part of scientific community, learning new things and coming up with more interesting questions.