Wallace Marshall is an electrical engineer by training. He did his PhD with John Sedat at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), USA and his postdoctoral work with Joel Rosenbaum at Yale, USA. Prof. Marshall has returned to the Bay area where he is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at UCSF. The fact that Marshall pursued a double major in Engineering and Biochemistry as an undergraduate student at SUNY Stony Brook is evident in his engineering approach at the cellular level.
His lab at UCSF studies how cells solve engineering problems, particularly how cells control the size, number, and position of organelles. These studies are conducted using a combination of experimental and computational approaches as well as a range of model systems including the unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. They strive to understand how the three-dimensional geometry of cells can be generated from the one-dimensional genome and developed into different cellular architectures under genetic control. Marshall takes a multi-level approach to investigate this idea: from the level of individual organelles (centrioles, cilia, mitochondria and vacuoles) to studies of the overall architecture of cells.
Not only is Marshall a professor, he is also a co-founder of Green Pacific Biologicals (GPC): a company that provides nuclear-genetic engineering technologies for better biofuel production from algae. GPC is developing the next generation platform for low-cost, renewable, and large scale production of biofuel from microalgae. Marshall’s long-term research goal is to understand how the size, number, and position of every organelle in the cell is determined by the genome, using a combination of genetic, imaging, and mathematical approaches.