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Kovinich, Nik

Assistant Professor of Genetics and Developmental Biology

Dr. Kovinich received his Ph.D. from Carleton University in Ontario, Canada, where his research focused on understanding the genetics and biochemistry of flavonoid metabolism in the seed coat of medicinal black soybean, and on engineering soybean metabolism to produce a visible color marker for genetically modified grains. His postdoctoral studies focused on understanding the fundamental processes of metabolite transport in plants. 

In 2012, Kovinich was awarded a Pelotonia Postdoctoral Fellowship to investigate a novel approach for producing derivatives of natural anticancer drugs using a combination of semi-synthesis and metabolic engineering. In July of 2013 he joined the West Virginia University as an Assistant Professor of Genetics. His research group focuses on understanding the genetics of how plants defend themselves against pathogens and pests, and how plant genetics can be modified to enhance the production of anticancer drugs. Dr. Kovinich teaches undergraduate- and graduate-level genetics and genetic engineering. 

Select Publications

  1. Kovinich, N. et al. Coloring genetically modified soybean grains with anthocyanins by suppression of the proanthocyanidin genes ANR1 and ANR2. Transgenic Res 21, 757-771 (2012).
  2. Kovinich, N., Saleem, A., Arnason, J.T. & Miki, B. Combined analysis of transcriptome and metabolite data reveals extensive differences between black and brown nearly-isogenic soybean (Glycine max) seed coats enabling the identification of pigment isogenes. Bmc Genomics 12 (2011).
  3. Kovinich, N., Saleem, A., Arnason, J.T. & Miki, B. Functional characterization of a UDP-glucose:flavonoid 3-O-glucosyltransferase from the seed coat of black soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.). Phytochemistry 71, 1253-1263 (2010).
  4. Chanoca, A., Kovinich, N. et al. Anthocyanin Vacuolar Inclusions Form by a Microautophagy Mechanism. Plant Cell 27, 2545-2559 (2015).
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