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Brian King

Brian King completed the requirements for a Ph.D. degree in the Department of Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology at Cornell University in March 2012.  He conducted his Ph.D. research in Donna Gibson's program, with assistance from Gary Bergstrom, with a focus on evaluating the potential of plant pathogenic fungi and their enzyme complement for use in biofuel production using lignocellulosic digestion. His results showed that many plant pathogenic fungi are highly competent producers of lignocellulolytic enzymes and that their enzyme systems are uniquely geared toward preferred biomass sources depending on their pathogenic lifestyle.  The large-scale study is listed as the 13th highest accessioned article in Biotechnology for Biofuels 4:4 (2011) since its publication last year, indicating great interest among the scientific and industrial community, and providing the largest statistical analysis confirming host selectivity of lignocellulases in plant pathogens. He is currently at the Department of Plant Biology and Biotechnology at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, as a postdoctoral associate.  His project is focused on developing the moss Physcomitrella patens as a model system for characterization and optimization of terpenoid biosynthetic pathways for high value medicinal metabolites as well as biofuel intermediates.