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Chemistry Department
 
Madushi Raththagala

Madushi Raththagala

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Office: Dana 218
Phone: 518-580-8193
Fax: 518-580-5129
Email: mraththa@skidmore.edu

EDUCATION

At Skidmore since 2017

 

RESEARCH

Our research interests emphasize the general area of structural biochemistry, using biophysical and biochemical approaches to characterize proteins involved in reversible phosphorylation of carbohydrates. We are particularly interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms by which glucan phosphatase Starch Excess4 regulate starch phosphorylation in plant systems. Starch Excess4 is essential for starch degradation and its absence leads to accumulation of starch granules in plant leaves.

Current studies focus on unraveling the mechanistic details of position specific activity of Starch Excess4. One of the major challenges of studying Starch Excess4 is defining it in the complex starch structure. Focusing on specific starch engagement and activity, students in my group will employ a variety of biophysical techniques including x-ray crystallography, small angle x-ray scattering, and differential scanning fluorimetry to study Starch Excess4. Our efforts are to remove the key gaps in knowledge in reversible starch phosphorylation with the hope of developing a new strategy to utilize starch in an industrial setting and future biofuel research.

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