Texas Tech University
TTU HomeDepartment of Chemistry and Biochemistry Faculty Dr. Paul W. Pare

Dr. Paul W. Pare




Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin, 1991; Postdoctoral Study, Institute of Biological Chemistry, Washington State University

Research Area:





Chemistry 413-B




Research Group

Research Web Page

Principal Research Interests

Research activities focus on: [i] characterizing signaling mechanisms that operate in plant-microbe interactions and [ii] chemically characterize natural products from plant and marine sources with biological activity within a medical context. The lab fosters the training of undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral researchers. Experimental approaches include techniques in analytical and organic chemistry as well as molecular and microbiology. Research projects that are ongoing are summarized below.

Beneficial Bacterial Induce Plant Growth

Researchers, in collaboration with Lanzhou University in China study how beneficial soil bacteria induce growth promotion, nutrient uptake and abiotic stress tolerance in plants. Such bacteria form mutually beneficial associations with below-ground roots through a complex exchange of signaling molecules, some of which have been chemically characterized and assayed for biological activity. It has been established that bacterial elicitors activate differential expression of over 600 plant transcripts related to inducible salt- and drought-tolerance as well as iron uptake resulting in greater photosynthetic efficiency. Understanding how bacteria regulate plant processes of growth and development has important implications in increasing agricultural output and improved human nutrition.

Plant Metabolomics

Researchers, in collaboration with the National Research Centre in Egypt collect and chemically characterize pharmacologically active metabolites including phenylpropanoid glycosides, iridoids, flavonoids, saponins and terpenes from solvent-extracted plant tissue. Samples are selected based on a plant's ethnobotanical history and/or its phylogenetic proximity to species rich in biologically-active phytochemicals. Metabolites are chromatographically purified, spectroscopically characterized and screened for biological activity based on bacterial and cancer cytotoxicity assays.

Marine Natural Product Chemistry

Marine ecosystems cover nearly seventy percent of the earth's surface and are estimated to contain over eighty percent of world's plant and animal species. Researchers, in collaboration with the National Research Centre in Egypt collect and chemically characterize secondary metabolites produced by marine organisms within the Red Sea; this aquatic environment is considered an epicenter for marine biodiversity due to its extremely high endemic biota. Since constituents from higher plants, along with metabolites from terrestrial microorganisms have provided a substantial fraction of the natural-product-derived drugs currently used in Western medicine, it is expected that the number and diversity of natural products will be vastly expand by the mining of marine organisms.


Representative Publications