Researchers

Professor
Biological Sciences
Research Interests:
  • We study how manipulation of sucrose transporters and metabolic engineering of mobile sugars can contribute to carbon partitioning throughout the plant and potentially enhance productivity.
  • We are interested in how altered biomass partitioning can be lead to increased levels of bio-products.
  • We manipulate genes encoding proteins that energize the phloem network, such as proton pumps and those contributing to glycolysis, to boost transport and growth in recipient tissues.
  • We study how increased carbon supply from source leaves affects requirements for other essential nutrients, and how homeostasis between carbon and essential nutrients is maintained.
  • We use virus-based technologies to efficiently study genes that contribute to architectural patterns of vegetative, reproductive (i.e., fruiting) and branching growth in cotton and sorghum.
Associate Professor
Biological Sciences and Mathematics
Research Interests:
  • Microbial genome plasticity: Evolution of bacterial virulence and drug resistance.
  • Differential gene regulation: Whole transcriptome profiling and analysis.
  • Assessment of statistical methods for genome sequence analysis.
  • Gene / Gene family discovery; Gene network analysis.
  • Sex chromosome evolution.
BDI Associate Director / Regents Professor
Biological Sciences
Research Interests:
  • Lipid signaling in plants.
  • Compartmentalization of neutral lipids in plant cells.
  • Plant lipids for human health and industrial applications.
  • Lipidomics in tissues and organelles.
Professor
Biological Sciences
Research Interests:
  • Symbiotic nitrogen fixation.
  • Biological transporters.
  • Nitrogen use and assimilation.
  • Rhizobial infection of legume roots.
Professor
Biological Sciences
Research Interests:
  • The ROS Wave and Ultrafast Omics Responses to Abiotic Stress. Research from my lab uncovered a new and exciting cell-to-cell communication pathway (The reactive oxygen species - ROS wave) that, together with calcium and electric signals, could provide a working model demonstrating how plant cells transmit long-distance signals via cell-to-cell communication mechanisms.
  • Stress Combination. My lab pioneered the use of omics tools to study abiotic stress combination and opened the way to improving the tolerance of plants to important stresses such as drought and heat that are posing a major threat to agricultural production worldwide.
  • Regulation of Cell Survival and Death Pathways by Fe-S Proteins. We are a key part of a multi-PI collaboration to define the role of NEET proteins in cancer cells. Our studies show that the function of NEET proteins is required for cancer cells to maintain their iron/ROS homeostasis and that targeting the Fe-S clusters of these proteins with new drugs selectively kills cancer cells. We are also studying the cellular pathways that interact with nanoparticles to effectively deliver anticancer drugs.
Distinguished Research Professor
Biological Sciences
Research Interests:
  • Plant-pathogen interactions: Plant defense against pathogens; signaling mechanisms in plant defense; Secondary metabolites in plant defense signaling as well as susceptibility to diseases.
  • Plant-insect interaction: Plant response to phloem feeding insects; physiological changes in plants during aphid infestation; Signaling mechanisms contributing to resistance as well as susceptibility to insect infestation.
  • Plant Lipids: Involvement of lipids and lipid oxidation in plant stress response.
  • Applied interests: Engineering disease resistance in agronomically important plants against important diseases, e.g. Fusarium head blight resistance in wheat.
Associate Professor
Chemistry and Biochemistry
Research Interests:
  • Develop the nanomanipulation platform and utilize in direct analyte probe nano-extraction within Biochemistry, Forensic Science, and Analytical Chemical applications.
  • Continue to develop micro mass spectrometry and applications, specifically for field portable instrumentation.
  • Further develop soft-landing mass spectrometry and drift tubes to comb for new materials and aid in understanding a bottom-up approach.
  • Identify new growth areas within mass spectrometry, and exploit our expertise to find future funding.
Assistant Professor
Biological Sciences
Research Interests:
  • Large genetic screen to isolate, characterize, and clone new maize mutants with defects in division plane orientation during stomata formation.
  • Cloning and characterization of dcd2, a maize mutant with defects in division plane orientation during stomata formation.
  • Understanding the role of katanin, a microtubule severing protein, in asymmetric cell division in maize.
  • Initial in vitro and in vivo characterization of the putative maize microtubule severing proteins, spastin and fidgetin.
  • Addition of a yeast two hybrid screening module to UNT's undergraduate cell biology lab which will provide the students with a "real" research experience within an undergraduate classroom.
BDI Director, Distinguished Research Professor
Biological Sciences
Research Interests:
  • Metabolic engineering of plant natural products and lignin for improvement of biomass utilization, forage quality, and human health.
  • Genomics approaches to understanding plant natural product biosynthesis.
Research Professsor
Biological Sciences
Research Interests:
  • Biotechnology for sustainable biofuel and bioproducts: plant cell walls bioengineering and lignin-based carbon fiber and high-value chemicals; altering lignin structure and composition to facilitate the lignin valorizations.
  • Biomass formation and modification: lignin bioengineering and its effect on biomass recalcitrance in bioenergy crops and in-depth mechanisms of plant cell wall recalcitrance. Creation of next generation low recalcitrance high-value biomass crops.
  • Metabolic engineering of plant natural products, secondary metabolite profiling, and high throughput cell wall analysis.
  • Genomic and genetic approaches to understanding plant cell wall biosynthesis and plant growth. EMS mutant screening and mapping-by-sequencing for mutant identification in cleome hasslariana.
Research Assistant Professsor
Biological Sciences
Research Interests:
  • Biochemistry of proanthocyanidin biosynthesis
  • Regulation of proanthocyanidin biosynthesis
  • Bioengineering proanthocyanidin in alfalfa
  • Developing metabolomics methodology
  • Nature product discovery
Research Assistant Professsor
Biological Sciences
Research Interests:
  • Bioinformatics on data analysis for of next generation sequencing
Research Associate Professor
Biological Sciences
Research Interests:
  • Plant natural products and biosynthesis
  • Enzyme structure and mechanism
  • Enzyme design and engineering
  • Enzyme-mediated drug metabolism and detoxification
Research Assistant Professsor
Biological Sciences
Research Interests:
  • Structural and functional studies of flavonoid biosynthetic enzymes.
  • Role of chirality in flavonoids biosynthesis.
  • Structural evolution of nitrate transporters in plants.
  • Unique transcription factors in plants.

 

Research Assistant Professsor
Biological Sciences
Research Interests:

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Roisin McGarry is a Research Assistant Professor in the BioDiscovery Institute at the University of North Texas. Her research in plant development employs translational approaches to address crop improvement. Specifically, she uses cotton (Gossypium hirsutum), a substantial commodity crop, to identify and explore developmental mechanisms that can benefit productivity. Dr. McGarry obtained her BSc from the University of Lethbridge, Canada, MSc from the University of Alberta, Canada, and PhD from Cornell University. Her doctoral research was awarded a prestigious national scholarship from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. She conducted post-doctoral research with Dr. Brian Ayre at the University of North Texas, and pursued professional development leave with Dr. Friedrich Kragler at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology in Potsdam-Golm, Germany.

Research Assistant Professsor
Biological Sciences
Research Interests:

Google Scholar

  • Cotton Seed Fiber Initiation and Development.
  • Generate crop haploid inducers using new technologies such as CRISPR.
  • Bridge plant basic research with plant breeding technologies.