Kent Chapman, Regents Professor of biological sciences, is working to find ways to produce oil in plant tissues other than seeds and fruits, such as leaves. The end goal is to produce this type of oil for sustainable applications for fuels, chemicals and other products.
His research is made possible from a $650,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science that he’ll use to study the cellular storage of lipids in plants, specifically the cellular machinery that regulates how lipids are packed inside of cells.
“What’s exciting about this project is that so many other things can come out of the study that you hadn’t anticipated,” he says.
“That’s why people say basic science is the fuel for innovation, because new principles can be discovered.”