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Joseph Lynch

Joseph Lynch with his daughter


I’ll be doing plant biochemistry research. My focus is going to be on intercompartmental metabolism with a particular focus early on the metabolism of aromatic amino acids. Plant cells are divided into multiple compartments and oftentimes different metabolic pathways are in one compartment or another and this is supposed to help with efficiency of pathways. I’m hoping to figure out if there’s cross reactivity where there shouldn’t be. There are some pathways, including the pathway toward the amino acid phenylalanine, that are duplicated across multiple compartments. I’m hoping to figure out why. Why is there a perfectly good pathway in one compartment and a similar pathway in another? I suspect the reason is going to be different for different pathways. There could be different conditions where one pathway might be more important. I have yet to identify what those conditions are. That’s what I’m hoping to discover.  

What jobs did you have before coming to WVU? 

I was a research scientist at Purdue University. Between my post doc and the research scientist position, I was there for seven years.

What has been the most enjoyable time or moment in your education? 

I would say getting involved in research in the first place as an undergrad, just getting exposed to the lab environment and to the whole concept of discovery.

What has been the most enjoyable time or moment in your job? 

It’s only been a few weeks, but I’ve seen the lab space, so knowing the potential that’s there and what I have to work with.

What's one thing you wish you had known in college?

That nothing was going to go according to plan. In college, as an undergrad, I really never would have imagined that I would be faculty, that I’d be in West Virginia. I went to college in Washington. I never imagined I'd end up so far from what was, at the time, home.

What were you most grateful for in 2020?

My fourth child was born and she’s happy and healthy. That was a really big relief to have that go smoothly with how much in 2020 didn’t go smoothly.

What have you most looked forward to in 2021?

Getting my lab off the ground; getting it up and running.

Just for Fun

Currently reading: Dominion Post 

Favorite meal: Steak

One thing you can't live without: Toilet paper