patrick horn

Patrick Horn

Title: Assistant Professor
Area of Study: Plant Biochemistry, Lipids
Phone: 252-328-9636
Office: 554 Science & Technology Building
Lab: 555 Science & Technology Building

Address:  East Carolina University

Department of Biology

Mailstop 551
Greenville, NC 27858



Post-Doctoral Training, Michigan State University, 2018 (Dr. Christoph Benning and Dr. John Ohlrogge’s labs)

Ph.D. Biochemistry, University of North Texas, 2013 (Dr. Kent Chapman lab, Dissertation: Development of Enabling Technologies to Visualize the Plant Lipidome)

B.S., Biochemistry, The University of Texas at Austin, 2008


Lab Website:

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Research Interests:

My lab aims to understand the roles of lipids (“plant-based oils”) in plant growth & development, in response to dynamic environmental conditions, and exploit this knowledge to engineer healthier plants for environmental and human health. At a deeper level we aim to understand how biological membranes contribute to compartmentation, maintain homeostasis, respond to stress, and can be manipulated as sources of sustainable energy; we aim to understand the mechanistic and regulatory mechanisms involved in lipid pathways in model and crop species; and finally, we aim to integrate multi-omics, systems-enabled big-data approaches for sophisticated insights into complex problems in plant biology. We will achieve these aims through a team-based, collaborative work environment integrating a mix of classic biochemistry, imaging, and molecular biology approaches with cutting-edge omics technologies (metabolomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, etc.) and computational biology.

Prospective Students:

I will be looking for motivated undergraduate and graduate students from diverse backgrounds to join our new lab starting this spring 2019. I am looking for curiosity-driven individuals that want to enhance their ability to think critically about real-world problems in a research environment. Whether you want to pursue a career in research (whether working with plants or non-plant systems!), academia, biotechnology, agriculture, STEM-based education, etc., we will develop a research plan that integrates these career goals. You will be joining a lab based on a core set of values including mutual respect, interdisciplinary relationships, goal-setting, and work-life balance. If any of this sounds of interest to you, please contact me: Graduate students, provide me your CV (including list of references) and up to a 1-page statement of research/career interests; Undergraduates, please send me your CV with any previous research experience, lists of science (or related) courses taken or in progress, and a short description of why you want to pursue undergraduate research.

Representative Publications:

For full list visit


Horn PJ and Benning C (2016). The plant lipidome in human and environmental      health. Science 353: 1228-1232. doi:10.1126/science.aaf6206

Horn PJ, Liu J, Cocuron JC, McGlew K, Thrower NA, Larson M, Lu C, Alonso AP, and Ohlrogge J (2016). Identification of multiple lipid genes with modifications in expression and sequence associated with the evolution of hydroxy fatty acid accumulation in Physaria fendleri. The Plant Journal86, 322-348. doi:10.1111/tpj.13163

Horn PJ, and Chapman KD (2014). Lipidomics in situ: insights into plant lipid metabolism from high resolution spatial maps of metabolites. Progress in Lipid Research 54, 32-52. doi:10.1016/j.plipres.2014.01.003

Horn PJ, and Chapman KD (2014). Metabolite Imager: customized spatial analysis of metabolite distributions in mass spectrometry imaging. Metabolomics 10, 337-348. doi:10.1007/s11306-013-0575-0

Vanhercke T, El Tahchy A, Liu Q, Zhou XR, Shrestha P, Divi UK, Ral JP, Mansour MP, Nichols PD, James    CN, Horn PJ, Chapman KD, Beaudoin F, Ruiz-Lopez N, Larkin PJ, de Feyter RC, Singh SP, and Petrie JR  (2014). Metabolic engineering of biomass for high energy density: oilseed-like triacylglycerol yields from plant leaves. Plant Biotechnology Journal 12, 231-239.doi:10.1111/pbi.12131

Horn PJ, James CN, Gidda SK, Kilaru A, Dyer JM, Mullen RT, Ohlrogge JB, and Chapman KD (2013). Identification of a new class of lipid droplet-associated proteins in plants. Plant Physiology 162, 1926-1936. doi:10.1104/pp.113.222455

Horn PJ, Silva JE, Anderson D, Fuchs J, Borisjuk L, Nazarenus TJ, Shulaev V, Cahoon EB, and Chapman KD (2013). Imaging heterogeneity of membrane and storage lipids in transgenic Camelina sativa seeds with altered fatty acid profiles. The Plant Journal 76, 138-150. doi:10.1111/tpj.12278

Horn PJ, Korte AR, Neogi PB, Love E, Fuchs J, Strupat K, Borisjuk L, Shulaev  V, Lee YJ, and Chapman KD (2012). Spatial mapping of lipids at cellular resolution in embryos of cotton. The Plant Cell 24, 622- 636.doi:0.1105/tpc.111.094581

Adeyo O, Horn PJ, Lee S, Binns DD, Chandrahas A, Chapman KD, and Goodman JM (2011). The yeast lipin orthologue Pah1p is important for biogenesis of lipid droplets. The Journal of Cell Biology 192, 1043-1055. doi:10.1083/jcb.201010111

James CN, Horn PJ, Case CR, Gidda SK, Zhang D, Mullen RT, Dyer JM, Anderson RG, and Chapman KD (2010). Disruption of the Arabidopsis CGI-58 homologue produces Chanarin-Dorfman-like lipid droplet accumulation in plants. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107, 17833-17838. doi:10.1073/pnas.0911359107