April 6-7, 2017 | Lincoln, Nebraska
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2017 NRIC speakers
portrait of Ming Chen Hammond


Dr. Ming Chen Hammond
UC Berkeley
Applying RNA synthetic biology to study plant-microbe interactions
9:05 - 9:35 am, Friday 7 April 2017
My lab develops RNA-based tools for gene regulation and molecular sensing. In this seminar, I will describe the development of a fully generalizable, robust, and orthogonal suicide exon system for gene regulation in dicots. Using this suicide exon, we were able to generate previously unattainable transgenic plants harboring bacterial effector genes that inducibly trigger the hypersensitive response. In the second half, I will describe the development of highly sensitive and bright RNA-based fluorescent biosensors for studying bacterial signaling. We recently applied these biosensors to make several exciting discoveries related to small molecule signals that control how certain environmental bacteria respond to biotic and abiotic surfaces, which has implications for host, community, and environmental interactions.
Ming Hammond is an assistant professor in the Departments of Chemistry and Molecular & Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley and a faculty scientist in the Biological Systems and Engineering division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. She is a founding PI for the NIGMS Center for RNA Systems Biology at UC Berkeley and has served as a grant reviewer for the NSF, JGI Community Science Program, and Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council in the UK. She is a recipient of the NIH New Innovator Award and the BWF Career Award at the Scientific Interface.