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479th Brookhaven Lecture, 6/20

Charting Plant Metabolism: Quantification of Metabolic Fluxes and Predictive Mathematical Models

Jörg Schwender

Jörg Schwender of Brookhaven Lab’s Biology Department uses advanced computational models to explore metabolic networks in plants as he determines how these networks affect oil and biomass production. Meet Schwender and learn more about his work here.

Every living thing requires energy to stay alive, right? When you idly watch grass grow, your body relies on a metabolic network of chemical reactions to produce the energy it needs from the food you have eaten. When your body needs more energy to pull weeds or split firewood, it relies on that same metabolic network to produce more energy so you can complete the task at hand.

Just as humans have metabolic networks that produce energy from the food they consume, plants have metabolic networks that produce energy from the light, nutrients, and carbon dioxide that they absorb. Scientific researchers at Brookhaven Lab are exploring these metabolic networks in plants and are working with advanced computational modeling to determine how the networks could be used to produce oils and biomass for renewable biofuels, materials, lubricants, and more.

On Wednesday, June 20, join Jörg Schwender of the Biology Department for the 479th Brookhaven Lecture, titled “Charting Plant Metabolism: Quantification of Metabolic Fluxes and Predictive Mathematical Models.” All are invited to attend this free talk, which is open to the public and will be held in Berkner Hall at 4 p.m. Refreshments will be offered before and after the lecture. Visitors to the Lab 16 and older must carry a photo ID while on site.

To join Schwender for dinner at an off-site restaurant following the talk, contact Kathy Folkers at Ext. 3415 or

During his talk, Schwender will describe some of the modeling efforts that he and his collaborators use to explore the biochemical reactions of plant metabolism and predict the characteristics of high-oil plant varieties.

Schwender earned a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Karlsruhe in Germany in 1999. He worked in Michigan State University’s Department of Plant Biology as a research associate from 2000 to 2003, and a visiting assistant professor from 2003 to 2005. In 2005, Schwender joined the Biology Department at Brookhaven Lab. He was named assistant biochemist in 2005, associate biochemist in 2007, and biochemist in 2010.

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