Cornell Institute for Digital Agriculture (CIDA) Seminar Series: Advancing One Health through digital agriculture - Susan Daniel




This seminar is zoom-only. REGISTRATION REQUIRED:

Plant-Membrane-on-a-Chip: Bioelectronic Sensing of Transporter and Channel Transport in Plant Membranes

Monitoring the flux of solutes and ions across plant cell membranes through ion channels and transporters embedded within them, is a significant challenge today, but is fundamental for assigning function to unknown transporter genes, tackling transporter substrate specificities and mode of regulation, and eventually linking metabolic pathways to cellular compartments, plant growth and development, and bridging the genotype to phenotype gap. Today's technologies are inadequate for a number of reasons, including low throughput and lack of sensitivity, especially for transporters, which have fluxes several orders of magnitude lower than ion channels. In addition, some transporters reside in intracellular organelle membranes and are especially hard to access. In this presentation, I will share a new technology that combines planar plant membranes with a transparent, electrically conducting polymer, comprising a “plant membrane on a chip” for the dual-mode (optical or electrical) measurement of plant protein functions. This new kind of sensor device is amenable to scale up and we anticipate that it can be highly multiplexed for collection of large data sets on plant transporter systems in a way that has not been possible before. With this capability, such large data sets will feed into big data science approaches for enabling discoveries and breakthroughs in our understanding of how plants adapt to genetic perturbations, extreme weather conditions, pathogen pressures, and other critical aspects important for flourishing ecosystems.

Susan Daniel is the Director of the Robert Frederick Smith School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Cornell University. She leads a research group of biomolecular engineers working to understand cell membrane functions and the biological processes that happen within them. Her group pioneered the use of “cell-free” biomembrane platforms for re-creating cellular processes on chip. Much of the work they do has impact in human health or advancing biotechnologies for the good of humankind.

The Cornell Institute for Digital Agriculture (CIDA), a faculty led initiative focused on creating a strong voice in the emerging area of Digital Agriculture (DA), invites Professor Daniel to present her research for CIDA’s monthly seminar series.


Background on the Cornell Institute for Digital Agriculture

An interdisciplinary group of Cornell University faculty began meeting in early 2017 to formulate an Initiative for Digital Agriculture, believing that Cornell is uniquely equipped to lead in this emerging arena that will benefit the public for generations. We define DA to mean the application of computational and information technologies coupled with nanotechnology, biology, systems engineering and economics to both the research and operational sides of agriculture and food production. With approximately 100 faculty from 5 Cornell colleges participating, we are collaborating with external stakeholders to shape and implement a research agenda for DA that will build a pipeline of discovery and innovations for the next 10+ years. Please contact Gabriela Cestero at with any questions