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Clay Wright

HABB1 Building
Room 301-E
Blacksburg VA 24061

Assistant Professor

Department of Biological Systems Engineering

Dr. Wright's research aims to understand how signaling networks facilitate both plasticity and robustness in plant form and function and to harness this knowledge to engineer proteins, signaling networks, and biosynthetic pathways for applications in agriculture and biotechnology. 

The Wright Plant Synthetic Biology lab integrates approaches from synthetic and computational biology, protein engineering, bioinformatics, molecular evolution, and genetics to quantify signaling dynamics, genetic interactions, and functional relationships in plant signaling. In the lab, we utilize synthetic biology and genetically tractable model bacteria, yeast, and plants to measure signaling dynamics by recapitulating small modules of complex signaling pathways in a bottom-up engineering approach. We also build tools, such as biosensors and bioinformatics tools, to facilitate quantitative top-down genetics approaches to understanding signaling. 

Research interests

Plant development, hormone signaling, genetic engineering of yield/resistance/added-value crop traits, genetic variation, protein engineering, biosensors