Plant Research Laboratory
612 Wilson Rd, Plant Biology Laboratories room 210
East Lansing MI 48824
Professor Thomas D. (Tom) Sharkey received his PhD for work in the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory in 1980. After post-doctoral work at the Australian National University he spent five years at the Desert Research Institute in Nevada and then 20 years at UW-Madison. In 2008 he returned to MSU to Chair the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and after nine years as chair he returned to the Plant Research Laboratory. The Sharkey lab studies the biochemistry and biophysics that determine the exchange of gases between the biosphere and the atmosphere. Currently, research is concentrated on three projects – (1) carbon metabolism of photosynthesis – from carbon dioxide uptake to carbon export from the Calvin-Benson cycle, (2) isoprene emission from plants, and (3) abiotic stress tolerance. In addition to modern techniques such as engineering of transgenic organisms, studies of mutants, and various -omics technologies, the lab specialty is use of gas exchange measurements to connect the gas exchange behavior of leaves with an understanding of biochemical and molecular mechanisms that determine plant growth and resilience. Tom Sharkey is a senior editor of Plant, Cell and Environment and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Society of Plant Biologists and a University Distinguished Professor.
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