Meet the Faculty: Gaurav Moghe


Gaurav Moghe, assistant professor, School of Integrative Plant Science, Plant Biology Section

Academic focus: Functional and evolutionary genomics of plant specialized metabolism

 Previous positions: Postdoctoral researcher, Michigan State University, 2013-17:

 Academic background: B.S. microbiology and biotechnology), Ramnarain Ruia College, University of Mumbai, India, 2004; M.S. biochemistry, The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, India, 2006; Ph.D. genetics and quantitative biology, Michigan State University, 2013

Last book read: “Plato and Platypus walk into a bar,” by Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein

What do you do when not working? Most of my non-work time now-a-days is spent playing with my daughter. Otherwise, I like to travel, try new foods, explore the outdoors or sometimes just relax and watch TV. I’m also a politics and philosophy buff, so I constantly seek out new material related to those areas.

What gets you out of bed in the morning? I am fascinated by the diversity of life on Earth. I am passionate about trying to understand the molecular mechanisms that give rise to the multitude of shapes, sizes, forms and physiologies on this planet, and how interactions between different organisms influence this variation.

Current research projects? We are developing two research directions in parallel – predictive genomics of plant enzymes, especially those in gene families, and characterizing the diversity of metabolites and biosynthetic mechanisms across different plant families. Our research program integrates modern bioinformatic approaches with traditional wet-lab experimentation. My goal is to use evolutionary variation as a tool not only to increase our fundamental understanding of biology but also to discover novel applications for plant natural products.

Courses you’re most looking forward to teaching? I would like to teach a course on different “omic” technologies in plant science, and the methods to integrate them. Such technologies are becoming more prevalent in every field, producing a deluge of data. Future plant scientists will need to have atleast a working knowledge of these technologies and perhaps even need to analyze some data themselves. I am looking forward to developing a course that fulfills those needs.

What most excites you about Cornell CALS? People. CALS has tremendous expertise in so many areas of my interest, from plant evolution, chemical ecology and molecular biology to agriculture and economics. I am looking forward to several engaging discussions and collaborations over the next few years.

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