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A group of 11 people
May 7, 2024
A group of graduate and undergraduate students participated in the 2024 EnergyTech University Prize, making it to the regionals portion of the competition. The contest is organized by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Technology Transitions and challenges students to create and present a business plan in the energy sector.
Four green plants as seen from above.
March 25, 2024
In a recent study in Plant Physiology, Michigan State University researchers revealed a misconception that had been growing in plant science about one of the fundamental puzzle pieces of photosynthesis. In correcting the record, researchers can now think about using this knowledge to improve plant function and grow more efficient crops.
Four women look at computers in a lab
February 19, 2024
Fixed-term Assistant Professor Jinjie Liu discusses her work with CURE, the Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience, at Michigan State University.
A tray of Arabidopsis plants
November 9, 2023
Rhomboid-like protein 10, or RBL10, is thought to be an enzyme that degrades other proteins in the chloroplast membrane, but its function is largely unknown. Researchers in the Benning lab in the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory are studying how RBL10 affects photosynthetic membrane lipid metabolism, an essential process in photosynthesis.
Corals in a tank
June 14, 2023
This scientific connection led to a unique collaboration between Quinn and Benning, who teamed up and received a $1.9 million grant from the National Science Foundation to study the role that betaine lipids from a mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship with algae play in coral bleaching. 
Three women work in a lab
November 15, 2022
Researchers from the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory Benning lab have received a $1,076,813 grant from the National Science Foundation to bring research into the undergraduate classroom setting with a project looking at how the chloroplast reacts to stress responses in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana.
İlayda Korkmaz
October 19, 2022
İlayda Korkmaz is an undergraduate student in the Benning Lab who is majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology as well as Political Science. She is interested in energy and enzymes. In her free time, she likes to read, paint and watch movies.
Drew Mitchell
August 16, 2022
Drew Mitchell is a former undergraduate student in the Benning lab and Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. "If there is something I’m struggling to find, or a problem that’s giving me trouble, there’s always someone [at the PRL] who is willing to chat about it and help if they can."
Christoph Benning, Yang-Tsung Lin, and Linda Danhof
June 27, 2022
Now with Ph.D. in hand, former MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory graduate student Yang-Tsung Lin is ready to continue his studies in algae as a postdoctoral researcher in Professor Sabeeha Merchant’s lab at UC Berkeley, beginning in July 2022.
Drew Mitchell
May 4, 2022
Member of the Benning lab at the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory (PRL) Drew Mitchell is a recipient of the 2022 Department of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics (MMG) Dietrich C. Bauer Scholarship Fund award.
People looking at posters
April 22, 2022
The annual forum provides students with an opportunity to showcase their scholarship and creative activity. Held each spring, the University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum (UURAF) brings together an intellectual community of highly motivated students to share their work with faculty, staff, peers and external audiences and receive constructive feedback from judges.
Yang-Tusng Lin looks at a test tube
February 17, 2022
Researchers from the Benning lab at the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory have been looking into the signals for activating different states of the cell cycle in microalga, which has potential applications for future biofuel production and cancer research.
Hands use tweezers on a small plant
February 11, 2022
Christoph Benning, director of the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory (PRL), was elected a Senior Member of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). He is among 83 academic inventors to be elected to the group in 2022.
Christoph Benning and Gregg Howe
December 14, 2021
Three Michigan State University College of Natural Science (NatSci) researchers are among nine MSU faculty members recognized in the 2021 Highly Cited Researchers list, an annual compilation of the global leaders in scientific influence by Clarivate Analytics.
A man looks into a microscope
November 16, 2021
Eleven Michigan State University researchers have been recognized in the 2021 Highly Cited Researchers List compiled by Clarivate Analytics.
Three people around a lab bench in a classroom
October 20, 2021
Researchers are integrating their work into undergraduate cell and molecular biology laboratory courses at Michigan State University through the use of Arabidopsis mutant screenings.
Anastasiya Lavell
September 30, 2021
MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory (PRL) scientists have published a new study that furthers our understanding of how plants make membranes in chloroplasts, the photosynthesis powerhouse.
Yang Xu
June 10, 2021
The Prize recognizes postdoctoral researchers’, “outstanding contributions to plant biology, based on initiative and originality of the research, productivity, and leadership.” In addition, Dr. Xu, a member of the Benning lab, has accepted a tenure-track assistant professorship at the University of Guelph in Canada.
Gloved hands hold a test tube
December 4, 2020
Christoph Benning and Gregg Howe are two of the four MSU College of Natural Science (CNS) researchers named Highly Cited Researchers, an annual compilation of the global leaders in scientific influence by Clarivate Analytics. The linked article features both scientists.
Microscope image of algae
October 8, 2020
A new study delves into how algae manage cell division processes when they suffer from starvation. The finding has implications for biofuel technologies, given that algae have the potential to become a sustainable source of high value oils.
Zhi-Yan Du in the lab
July 15, 2020
Du, a former postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Christoph Benning, will start a new position as Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa, Honolulu.
Tomomi Takeuchi
June 2, 2020
Tomomi will be working for Charles River Labs, located in Mattawan, while Eric will be with Physicians Toxicology in Kalamazoo.
Arabidopsis plants
May 12, 2020
Benning is featured on the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science's 'First-Person Science' series, where scientists describe how they made significant discoveries over years of research. 
Plants on a plate and gloved hands holding a razor above it
February 18, 2020
The protein, peroxiredoxin Q, is known to maintain a healthy balance of chemicals and energy levels in chloroplasts. The new research shows the protein also impacts the system that produces chloroplast membranes.
Tomomi Takeuchi
February 3, 2020
When algae get stressed, they hibernate and store energy in forms that we can use to make biofuels. Understanding how stress impacts algal hibernation could help scientists lower the cost of biofuels production.