The College of Natural Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin
The University of Texas at Austin

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Richard M. Brown
Johnson & Johnson Centennial Chair In Plant Cell Biology

Main Office: PAI 2.34
Phone: (512) 471-3364

Alternate Office: PAI 2.16

Mailing Address
The University of Texas at Austin
Section of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology
2506 Speedway Stop A5000
Austin ,TX 78712-1191

Richard M. Brown

Research Summary

Cellulose is the most abundant macromolecule on earth, yet details about its biosynthesis and structure remain unclear. We are using broad, interdisciplinary advances and tools to study cellulose and its biosynthesis. We employ many different model systems, including Arabidopsis, Sativa, Gossypium, bacteria, algae, and cyanobacteria. Our approaches involve gene cloning and sequencing, introduction of altered genes, gene expression in plants and bacteria, enzyme isolation and characterization, phylogenetic analysis, bioinformatics, x-ray and electron diffraction analysis, high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), and various types of light microscopy. We use immunolocalization approaches at the light and TEM levels. We are investigating the molecular structure of enzymes, structural proteins, carbon nanotubes, and cellulose using high resolution transmission electron microscopy (at 0.2 nm resolution). We have invented a new form of electronic paper made from microbial cellulose which will replace present cellulose-based products for printing (books and newspapers) (visit: We are investigating the use of a transmission electron microscope for manipulation of single polymer chains to form new products for nanotechnology.



Bio Sci students