Wang Receives 2019-20 Ralph E. Powe Award

 

Assistant Professor Tuo Wang received one of 36 Ralph E Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Awards through the Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU). The Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Awards provide seed money for research by junior faculty at ORAU member institutions. The award program is committed to enriching the research skills and professional growth of young faculty that can result in new funding opportunities.

 

The award recognizes Wang’s project that uses cutting-edge experiments in solid-state NMR to study the interaction between complex carbohydrates and the aromatic polymer lignin in the intact and native stems of maize and the model plant Arabidopsis. Such studies will lead to an atomic-level understanding of these sophisticated composites and guide the engineering of better energy crops and the optimization of post-harvesting utilization, for example, the production of biofuel and the development of better biomaterials.

 

Tuo Wang and graduate student Alex Kirui on the proposed project

Tuo Wang and graduate student Alex Kirui on the proposed project

Supramolecular architecture of complex carbohydrates and aromatic lignin in intact maize stems

Supramolecular architecture of complex carbohydrates and aromatic lignin in intact maize stems revealed by Wang Group

Dr. Wang joined the faculty at LSU in 2017. His research focuses on the development of solid-state NMR methods to determine the supramolecular structure and dynamics of complex carbohydrates in plant, fungi and algae. His group also developed the Complex Carbohydrate Magnetic Resonance Database to facilitate solid-state NMR characterization of carbohydrate-rich biomaterials and benefit the research community.  

 

Dr. Wang’s research contributions have earned him 37 published papers, including two in Nature Communications, internal and federal funding as the lead PI, and invitations to deliver talks at international conferences. The Powe Enhancement Award will further enhance his efforts towards the structural elucidation of complex biomaterials in their native state and with atomic resolution. For additional information about Dr. Wang’s research, please visit Wang Research Group.