Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Robert Luis Vellanoweth, PhD Assistant Professor of Biochemistry
Office: PS 517
Research Labs: PS 523-526
VOX (323) 343-2148
FAX (323) 343-6490

Educational Background

BS Biochemistry, California State University Los Angeles, 1982
PhD Biochemistry, University of California Berkeley, 1988
Ford and McKnight Postdoctoral Fellow, Washington State University, 1988-1992

Research Interests

Our research program is focused on gaining an understanding of the mechanisms of life span determination in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. We are attacking the problem from three fronts: biochemical, molecular biological, and genetic. The following biochemical approaches are underway: 1) an analysis of lipid peroxidation state as a function of age in rosette leaves; and 2) measurement of the expression patterns of enzymatic antioxidant defenses as leaf aging proceeds in the cytoplasm, chloroplast and mitochondrion. Using molecular biology, we are: 3) constructing antisense clones of antioxidant defense enzymes (superoxide dismutase and ascorbate peroxidase) to produce transgenic Arabidopsis plants to determine the affect of reducing ROS defenses on leaf lifespan; 4) constructing clones of SOD and AP under the control of a strong promoter to overexpress these enzymes in transgenic Arabidopsis in various compartments (cytosol, mitochondria, and chloroplast), using the appropriate signal sequences, to determine the affect of increasing ROS defenses on leaf lifespan; and 5) isolating and characterizing genomic clones of known Arabidopsis senescence-associated genes to begin the molecular dissection of their promoters. Using genetics, we are 6) screening for mutants that exhibit delayed senescence. An understanding of the mechanism by which a model organism amenable to experimentation undergoes purely age-related senescence, a likely consequence of our three-pronged approach, can provide some insight into similar mechanisms operative in other species.

Vellanoweth Lab Homepage

Teaching Schedules

Fall 1998

CourseSect. No.TitleUnitsDay & TimeRoom
Biochemistry I 3 MWF 9:30 - 10:20 AM PS 306

Winter 1999

^M ^M ^M ^M ^M ^M ^M ^M
CourseSect. No.TitleUnitsDay & Time Room
Biochemistry II 3MWF 9:30 - 10:20 AM

Spring 1999

CourseSect. No.TitleUnitsDay & Time Room
CHEM 431C 01 Biochemistry III 3 MWF 9:30-10:20 AM