I am from Henan, China. I received my B.S. in plant molecular and developmental biology in 1997 and my M.S. in plant physiology in 2000, both from Peking University in Beijing . I attended for my graduate studies where I received my Ph.D. in 2005 under the direction of Dr. Basil Nikolau.
My postdoctoral research focuses on phenylpropanoid metabolism. One of the projects I have been working on is genetic engineering of lignin in poplar trees for improved biofuel production. This project involves a multidisciplinary collaboration among three labs at Purdue led by Dr. Clint Chapple, Dr. Richard Meilan, and Dr. Michael Ladisch respectively. In addition, I have also initiated a research program exploring the diversity of aromatic secondary metabolism in natural accessions of Arabidopsis. A survey of 96 Arabidopsis accessions has already revealed considerable variations in leaf soluble metabolites. One exciting project I am currently working on involves the study of the biosynthesis of dihydroxybenzoic acid glycosides, compounds with direct relevance to bioproduct application and a possible role in plant-pathogen interaction.