Charlotte is working on increasing our understanding of the nature of genes which encode for interesting and novel compounds produced by plants.
She uses computational approaches to find, classify and analyse enzymes and other genes that are involved in specialised metabolism across the plant kingdom.
The two main goals of her work are to understand the evolutionary pathways that such genes have travelled and to build models and tools that allow us to predict the kinds of chemicals they might make. This work involves building and using high-throughput, systematic tools and bioinformatic pipelines, as the breadth and scope of available ‘omics data is vast, and ever increasing.
Charlotte collaborates with many people who work in the lab, from chemists to geneticists, and often works to integrate their expertise into the tools and models she builds in order to produce results which inform the design of future experiments. This includes a wide range of subjects, from learning how genes are organised spatially and temporally in plant genomes, to understanding and predicting how enzymes are able to perform novel and interesting chemical reactions.
Owen C., Patron N. J., Huang A., Osbourn A. (2017)Harnessing plant metabolic diversity.Current Opinion in Chemical Biology (40)Publisher's version: 1367-5931