Hannah is researching limonoid biosynthesis in the Meliaceae family.
Limonoids are a class of plant natural product with a long history of human-use as crop-protection agents. Certain limonoids also have reported pharmaceutical properties.
Extensive modifications and ring rearrangements make limonoids distinct from other triterpenes and interesting from a biosynthetic perspective. The complex structure of limonoids has made their chemical synthesis challenging and therefore their use is currently limited to what can be extracted from plant material.
The aim of Hannah’s work is to address this by uncovering how plants make limonoids, which could enable future metabolic engineering of limonoids for human use.