Dr. Pilot's laboratory studies the molecular mechanisms controlling the activity of amino acid metabolism and transport in plants. His goal is to understand (1) how amino acids are transported across membranes at the subcellular and plant levels, (2) how cells sense amino acid levels inside the organelles and the apoplasm, and (3) how are the signals transduced to changes in metabolic and transport activity.
This knowledge would open ways to engineer nitrogen fluxes in the plant, for example diverting resources to specific organs, which would enable to create crops with higher protein in storage organs like seeds, roots or tubers, or plants with increased nitrogen use efficiency.
Beyond the lab, Dr. Pilot partners with high schools to conduct scientific outreach focused on plant science research and discovery.
Regulation of amino acid transport and metabolism