Project Leader of Detoxification & Mode of Action Group
Organization: Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Department of Biochemistry - Germany
Daniel G. Vassão received his B.Sc. in Chemistry (2001) from the University of São Paulo, Brazil, and Ph.D. in Biochemistry (2008) from Washington State University, USA. As an undergraduate in Brazil he gained his first contact with natural product chemistry, and during his doctoral studies he studied the chemistry and enzymology of plant phenylpropanoid biosynthesis. Daniel then joined the group of Prof. Jonathan Gershenzon at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany, where he became leader of a research group. The current research in his group is focused on the interaction between plant defensive compounds and insect herbivores, specifically on chemical and biochemical aspects of metabolism, detoxification, and toxicology of these plant defenses. His group uses isotope labeling, enzymology, in vivo bioassays, transcriptomic and proteomic techniques to examine how insects biochemically process plant chemicals such as glucosinolates and benzoxazinoids, and how these phytochemical defenses exert their toxic effects.