Journal of Biotechnology & Biomaterials
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Across the plant kingdom, the jasmonate hormone steers the delicate balance between growth and the activation of defense
programs, such as the production of bioactive specialized metabolites. These small organic molecules allow plants to
cope with various types of stresses but often also have biological activities of high interest to human. Yet, the impressive plant
metabolic machinery is still hardly exploited, mainly because of the limited molecular insight. In this research the author aims
to identify the essential components acting in the jasmonate signaling network and to characterize the molecular mechanisms
driving plant natural product biosynthesis in medicinal and model plants. Extensive collections of genes are generated that
allow increasing our fundamental understanding of the central mechanisms that steer jasmonate signaling in the context of
plant growth and metabolism. In parallel, these genes might serve as a novel resource for metabolic engineering tools that will
facilitate the sustainable production of existing or novel plant-derived molecules with superior bioactivities. However, in order
to achieve the latter, we need to unravel and reconnect the complex wiring of the multiple forward and feedback loops that
drive the jasmonate-mediated boosting of plant specialized metabolism.
Alain Goossens has completed his PhD at Ghent University (Belgium) in 1998 and Postdoctoral studies at the IBMCP-UPV in Valencia (Spain) in 2000. Currently,
he is Principle Investigator at the Department of Plant Systems Biology at VIB and Professor in ?Metabolic Engineering? at Ghent University (Gent, Belgium). He
has been mentoring over 25 master students, 20 PhD students and 10 Postdoctoral researchers. He has authored more than 55 papers in peer reviewed ?A1?
publications, which have been cited over 1,800 times. He is co-inventor of 9 patent applications.
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