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Featured Cafe Presenter: Catherine Espinoza Patharkar
Catherine is a Senior Molecular Biology Scientist with a passion for plant biology research and teaching. Her research career started in her home country of Peru, where she researched the genetic diversity of potatoes and sweet potatoes. While doing her Ph.D. at University of Missouri, she investigated the molecular mechanisms of how plants respond to environmental stresses like salt stress and fungal attack. After a brief postdoctoral research, she held an assistant professor position at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, before moving to Saint Louis to start working in a startup biotechnology company, CoverCress, Inc.
CoverCress is a startup company focused on developing a new cover cash crop for the American Midwest. I will discuss how we are using gene editing to rapidly domesticate pennycress into a crop that produces a high-quality biofuel and animal feed, while protecting the soil during the winter.
Hands on activities:
- You will be a gene detective and find which plants are transgenics and potentially gene-edited, using fluorescence detection.
- You will use bioinformatics tools to understand how the gene editing CRISPR technology targets, deletes or repair DNA, and which will be the result in our CoverCress crop.
Meet us at the Taylor Community Resource Center.
4900 Manchester Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63110