The Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB) Department is fortunate to have a multitude of graduate students within its Biochemistry, Microbiology and Molecular Biology (BMMB) Program dedicated to developing their research and teaching skills. Our students are making discoveries and generating independent knowledge through their research within our labs.
Meet one such student, Xiaoran Xin. Originally from China, she earned her undergraduate degree from Soochow University. Her interest in science developed as an undergraduate student taking biology and biomedical courses. “These courses were very attractive to me and inspired me to explore the beauty of science”, said Xiaoran. She chose Penn State to continue her education and pursue her Ph.D. because of the University’s high academic and global reputation as well as BMMB’s wide array of diverse research areas.
Currently Xiaoran works under the direction of associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, Ying Gu. Xiaoran and the Gu Laboratory’s research is focused on the investigation and understanding of the mechanisms of cellulose biosynthesis. Cellulose, often touted as the most abundant biopolymer on earth, is a major source of raw materials for paper, textiles, and an plentiful source for sustainable and environment-friendly cellulosic biofuels. Xiaoran’s research utilizes biochemical, molecular genetics, and spectroscopic approaches to investigate how plants make cellulose and seeks to provide the scientific foundations for advancements in sustainable energy.