Ulschan Bathe: Plant Physiology First Author

Ulschan Bathe, co-first author of “Respiratory energy demands and scope for demand expansion and destruction”

Current position: Postdoctoral associate, Department of Horticultural Sciences, University of Florida

Education: Ph.D. in Plant Biochemistry, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

Non-scientific interests: Karate

Brief bio: My passion is Synthetic Biology and Metabolic Engineering. I started my academic career working on plant diterpene metabolism and its reconstruction in yeast. During a short Postdoc period, I stepped into SynBio harnessing combinatorial biosynthesis to expand the metabolic diversity of diterpenoids as potential anti-cancer drugs. In order to address more global challenges, I was granted a Walter Benjamin fellowship by the German Research Association and explored the power of continuous directed evolution at the University of Florida in the United States. Using continuous directed evolution, I prolong the working life of short-lived plant enzymes. The engineered enzymes are supposed to reduce protein turnover rates in planta, thereby cutting respiration rates; energy saved thereby can be channeled into production of new biomass.