Sunday, March 8, 2009

Grant McNair

I completed my undergraduate and M.Sc degrees at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. My M.Sc was undertaken in the Forest Molecular Genetics Programme and was completed in 2009 under the supervision of Prof A.A. Myburg. The focus of my research was determining the abundance profiles of novel and conserved Eucalyptus miRNAs. This was done to identify miRNAs potentially involved in wood formation. The selected miRNAs were first profiled at the whole-tree level and then the xylogenic tissues of trees in a time trial bending (tension wood inducing) experiment.
I began my PhD (Forestry) in September 2009 in the Shawn Mansfield Lab and will be completing a portion of my research in the Lacey Samuels Lab. The co-supervisors for my PhD are Shawn Mansfield and Lacey Samuels. My research is centred on secondary growth in trees. I am investigating cell expansion during secondary growth though the characterisation of a GPI-anchored protein. I’m also interested in identifying the genetic mechanism and regulators of xylem differentiation from the vascular cambium. The research is in part funded through the Working On Walls (WoW) CREATE grant from NSERC.
Other research interests are miRNAs and their role in plant development, specifically in wood development and disease resistance.