The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced Monday, June 18, that professor of chemistry Haw Yang is among 31 grant recipients of three years of funding to “further the ongoing revolution in biology and biotechnology.”
José Avalos, assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, was also an awardee of this round of DOE funding.
Yang’s lab is investigating the role of cellulose as a biofuel feedstock. Cellulose is the most abundant renewable carbon source on Earth, but scientists have been challenged to convert it into a liquid fuel because of its crystallinity. Yang is investigating the key steps of breaking down the crystalline cell walls, using quantum-dot tagging in a novel time-resolved, three-dimensional multi-resolution imaging technology. His imaging approach is focused on real-time “in situ” imaging — observing in real time how nature’s microscopic processes unfold at the cellular level.