His research interests are directed towards understanding the regulation of gene expression in plants and its impact on amino acid and storage protein metabolism in seeds and on plant response to biotic and abiotic stresses. He has published over 100 scientific papers in international journals. He discovered and characterized the enzyme lysine ketoglutarate reductase, which helped understanding the control of lysine metabolism in maize seeds. He also contributed for the understanding of transcription factor recognition of target sequences in gene promoters. He created and directed the Center for Molecular Biology and Genetic Engineering of State University of Campinas and helped creating the Brazilian Genome Network that sequenced the first complete genome of plant pathogenic bacteria (Xylella fastidiosa). He also headed the sequencing of a large collection of sugarcane ESTs and created a network of Brazilian laboratories that conducted the bioinformatics and functional analyses of the sugarcane genome. He made several contributions for the understanding of the genome architecture and function of the plant mitochondrial uncoupling protein and its role on plant oxidative stress response. He was a co-founder and the scientific director of the plant biotechnology company Alellyx Applied Genomics, the first private Latin American plant biotechnology company focused on genomics to develop new plant varieties to meet the needs of agriculture and bioenergy.