Jing-Ke Weng

Jing-Ke Weng

Assistant Professor; Member, Whitehead Institute

Jing-Ke Weng studies metabolic evolution in plants and explores the remarkable plant chemodiversity for new commodity chemicals and medicines.

617-324-4921

Phone

WI-361C

Office

Heather Ferguson

Assistant

617-258-5671

Assistant Phone

Education

PhD 2009, Purdue University

Research Summary

We probe the origin and evolution of plant metabolism, as well as how plants exploit discrete small molecules to interact with their surrounding environments. We also use plant natural products with specific medicinal properties as chemical probes to query human disorders like metabolic syndromes and protein-misfolding diseases. Ultimately, we hope to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying the "matrix effect" evident in many traditional herbal remedies.

Awards

  • Beckman Young Investigator Award, 2016
  • Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow, 2016
  • Searle Scholar, 2015
  • Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences, 2014
  • American Society of Plant Biologists Early Career Award, 2014
  • Tansley Medal for Excellence in Plant Science, 2013

Recent Publications

  1. The molecular structure of plant sporopollenin. Li, FS, Phyo, P, Jacobowitz, J, Hong, M, Weng, JK. 2019. Nat Plants 5, 41-46.
    doi: 10.1038/s41477-018-0330-7PMID:30559416
  2. Harnessing lignin evolution for biotechnological applications. Renault, H, Werck-Reichhart, D, Weng, JK. 2018. Curr. Opin. Biotechnol. 56, 105-111.
    doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2018.10.011PMID:30439673
  3. Gene-guided discovery and engineering of branched cyclic peptides in plants. Kersten, RD, Weng, JK. 2018. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 115, E10961-E10969.
    doi: 10.1073/pnas.1813993115PMID:30373830
  4. Contribution of Untargeted Metabolomics for Future Assessment of Biotech Crops. Christ, B, Pluskal, T, Aubry, S, Weng, JK. 2018. Trends Plant Sci. 23, 1047-1056.
    doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2018.09.011PMID:30361071
  5. Firefly genomes illuminate parallel origins of bioluminescence in beetles. Fallon, TR, Lower, SE, Chang, CH, Bessho-Uehara, M, Martin, GJ, Bewick, AJ, Behringer, M, Debat, HJ, Wong, I, Day, JC et al.. 2018. Elife 7, .
    doi: 10.7554/eLife.36495PMID:30324905
  6. Mechanistic basis for the evolution of chalcone synthase catalytic cysteine reactivity in land plants. Liou, G, Chiang, YC, Wang, Y, Weng, JK. 2018. J. Biol. Chem. 293, 18601-18612.
    doi: 10.1074/jbc.RA118.005695PMID:30291143
  7. Pièce de Self-Résistance: a New Paradigm for Natural-Product Herbicide Discovery. Hill, M, Weng, JK. 2018. Mol Plant 11, 1115-1116.
    doi: 10.1016/j.molp.2018.08.002PMID:30118809
  8. Crystalline-Sponge-Based Structural Analysis of Crude Natural Product Extracts. Wada, N, Kersten, RD, Iwai, T, Lee, S, Sakurai, F, Kikuchi, T, Fujita, D, Fujita, M, Weng, JK. 2018. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl. 57, 3671-3675.
    doi: 10.1002/anie.201713219PMID:29417714
  9. Complete Pathway Elucidation and Heterologous Reconstitution of Rhodiola Salidroside Biosynthesis. Torrens-Spence, MP, Pluskal, T, Li, FS, Carballo, V, Weng, JK. 2018. Mol Plant 11, 205-217.
    doi: 10.1016/j.molp.2017.12.007PMID:29277428
  10. Non-specific activities of the major herbicide-resistance gene BAR. Christ, B, Hochstrasser, R, Guyer, L, Francisco, R, Aubry, S, Hörtensteiner, S, Weng, JK. 2017. Nat Plants 3, 937-945.
    doi: 10.1038/s41477-017-0061-1PMID:29180815
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Photo credit: Gretchen Ertl/Whitehead Institute