2011 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

Home Department: Biology
Supported by: The Rose Hills Foundation
Mentor: Gavin Sherlock, Associate Professor of Genetics

Michael is a member of the class of 2012 and is majoring in biology. His project involves the genetic and biochemical characterization of the S. cerevisiae gene XDH1, which allows yeast to grow on the pentose xylose. Improving growth on xylose has essential applications to the biofuel industry as xylose is the second most common sugar (after glucose) in lignocellulosic biomass such as corn stover, wood byproducts, and dedicated fuel crops. His primary research question addresses whether over-expression of XDH1 will improve the modest “xylose growth” phenotype. After Stanford, he hopes to attend medical school.

Poster presented at the Stanford Bio-X Interdisciplinary Initiatives Symposium on August 17, 2011:

Towards Cellulosic Ethanol: Determining the Limitations for Xylose Growth in S. cerevisiae

Michael Davies1, Jared Wenger2, Gavin Sherlock2
[Departments of Biology1 and Genetics2, Stanford University]