271g Life Sciences Center
Jay Thelen, a plant biochemist, works on several research projects that employ analytical approaches to quantitatively study protein and metabolic regulation in model and crop seeds. His research interests include metabolic regulation, seed development, plant biochemistry, and analytical proteomics. These areas of study have the potential for broad impact on both agriculture and human health. Using cutting-edge mass spectrometry instrumentation, Thelen has conducted research on the factors that affect the composition of seeds, to determine why certain nuts and seeds contain higher percentages of oil than others. His lab monitors protein expression and modification, knowledge that may be used to improve crop plants such as canola and soybean. His latest collaborative project will develop lasers to non-invasively break down indigestible proteins in peanuts and other legumes, rendering them less allergenic. He also developed and patented a method to accurately quantify seed allergens in a high-throughput, multiplexed manner; a priority for seed biotechnology and food industries.