Justin Ungerer received his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Missouri-St. Louis in 2010 working under Dr. Teresa Thiel. His thesis work involved the identification of a fructose uptake system in Anabaena variabilis and transcriptional regulation of the nitrogenase in the same cyanobacterium. Specifically, he identified the genes responsible for fructose transport, the regulator of these genes, and established that tight regulation of fructose transport was necessary to prevent fructose toxicity in this species. While studying transcriptional regulation of the nitrogenase, Dr. Ungerer demonstrated that processing a larger nitrogenase transcript is essential for proper expression of the nitrogenase. Dr. Ungerer is currently working with Dr. Jianping Yu at NREL on research centered on employing cyanobacteria for photobiological ethylene production. The overall goal of this project is to stably express an ethylene-forming enzyme and to achieve a significant level of ethylene production.
- Ungerer, J.L., B.S. Pratte, and T. Thiel. (2008). "Regulation of Fructose Transport and Its Effect on Fructose Toxicity in Anabaena spp." J. Bacteriol. (190); pp. 8115-8125.
- Ungerer, J.L., B.S. Pratte, and T. Thiel. (2010). "RNA Processing of Nitrogenase Transcripts in the Cyanobacterium Anabaena Variabilis." J. Bacteriol (192); pp. 3311-3320.