Features

Professor Sir David Baulcombe  Professor Sir David Baulcombe, Regius Professor of Botany, Royal Society Research Professor, Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge

Dr. Baulcombe has wide interests in plant molecular biology. Currently he works on RNA-silencing systems and his group discovered small R NA molecules that have a central role in this process. This discovery influenced new developments in the basic biology of plants and animals. It has also prompted advances in biomedicine and plant biote chnology. Dr. Baulcombe also has interests in disease resistance and he is a member of a consortium investigating ways to mitigate the effects of a sweet potato virus disease in Africa. 

Until August 2007 Dr. Baulcombe was a senior research scientist in the Sainsbury Laboratory, Norwich. Since then he has been at Cambridge University as Royal Society Research Professor and now as Regi us Professor of Botany. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and a foreign associate member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. His awards include the 2006 Royal Medal of the Royal Society, the 20 08 Lasker Award for basic biomedical sciences and the Wolf Prize for Agriculture in 2010. He was knighted in June 2009. Extramural activities include membership of the Biotechnology and Biological Scien ces Research Council and in 2009 he chaired a Royal Society policy study on the contribution of biological science to food crop productivity. 
Dr. Ivan Baxter Dr. Ivan Baxter, USDA Research Scientist, Assistant Member and Principal Investigator, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

Dr. Baxter uses high-throughput elemental profiling to measure the elemental composition of plant tissues including soybean seeds and corn kernels. These data are used to perform genetics and modeling to understand how the interactions of elements, genes, and the environment determine the elemental composition of plants and allow plants to adapt to different environments. He received his B.A. in chemistry from Goucher College and his Ph.D. in molecular and cellular structure and chemistry from The Scripps Research Institute. Post-doctoral work was done in plant bioinformatics/ionomics at Purdue University.
Dr. Kirsten Bomblies Dr. Kirsten Bomblies Assistant Professor of Organismic & Evolutionary Biology (OEB), Harvard University 

Dr. Bomblies is applying genomic and molecular genetic approaches to investigate habitat adaptation and population divergence in plants. Dr. Bomblies received a B.A. in biochemistry from the University of Pennsylvania in 1996 and a Ph.D. in genetics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2004 where she worked with John Doebley on the genetics of maize domestication. For her post-doctoral, she worked with Detlef Weigel at the Max Planck Institute in Tuebingen, Germany studying hybrid necrosis in A. thaliana. She was awarded a MacArthur fellowship in 2008 and joined the faculty of the OEB department at Harvard University in July 2009.
Dr. Justin Borevitz Dr. Justin Borevitz, Associate Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Chicago

Dr. Borevitz received his B.S. in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz and his PhD. from the University of California, San Diego. Graduate work was performed in Dr. Joanne Chory's at University of California, San Diego, and postdoctoral work was performed with Dr. Joseph Ecker at the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences. Dr. Borevitz teaches graduate studies in "Ecological and Evolutionary Genomics" and undergraduate studies in "Prairie Ecosystems". He currently serves as the academic editor for Genetics and PLoSONE.
Dr. Siobhán Brady Dr. Siobhán Brady, Assistant Professor, Department of Plant Biology and Genome Center, University of California-Davis

Dr. Brady earned her Ph.D in plant developmental biology at the University of Toronto in 2005. She was awarded an NSERC postdoctoral fellowship and continued her research from 2005-2008 in the Department of Biology and Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy at Duke University. She was awarded the ASPB Early Career Award in 2009. Dr. Brady's research focuses on understanding how transcriptional regulatory networks govern plant root development and function.
Dr. Tom Brutnell Dr. Tom Brutnell, Associate Scientist, Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research and Adjunct Professor, Cornell University

Dr. Brutnell and his group are using genetic, genomic and computationally intensive approaches in maize and other grasses to understand C4 photosynthesis and light energy capture, leaf development, and shade avoidance syndrome. They also develop tools for transposon tagging to discover genes and traits, and for improving the nutritional content of maize grain. Dr. Brutnell received his B.S. in biology from the University of Connecticut and his Ph.D. in biology from Yale University. His post-doctoral studies were performed at the University of Oxford. Dr. Brutnell will join the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in January 2012.
Dr. Gloria Coruzzi Dr. Gloria Coruzzi, Carroll & Milton Petrie Professor, Center for Genomics and Systems Biology, and Chair, Department of Biology, New York University

Dr. Coruzzi's research in plant systems biology combines genomic, bioinformatic, and system biology approaches to identify gene regulatory networks controlling nitrogen use efficiency and the evolution of seeds. Using machine-learning approaches, her lab has generated predictive regulatory networks, a hallmark of systems biology. These informatic tools are embodied in a systems-biology enabling software platform called VirtualPlant (http://www.virtualplant.org). This research, performed in collaboration with the NYU Courant Institute, is funded by the NIH, NSF and DOE.
Dr. Natalia Dudareva Dr. Natalia Dudareva, Distinguished Professor, Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Purdue University

Dr. Dudareva's research focuses on the identification of biochemical and molecular mechanisms controlling the formation of an array of primary and secondary metabolites in plants, with emphasis on carbon flux distribution through two major metabolic networks (phenylpropanoid and terpenoid) using flowers as a model system. Her research deals with volatile scent emission, the modification of which is of significant interest in the context of plant evolutionary success and reproduction.
Dr. Jonathan Jones Dr. Jonathan Jones, Project Leader, The Sainsbury Laboratory

Dr. Jones received his Ph.D. in plant genetics, was a postdoc with Fred Ausubel working on symbiotic nitrogen fixation, and then worked at AGS, a startup agbiotech company. In 1988, he returned to the United Kingdom to The Sainsbury Laboratory, Norwich. After an initial focus on plant resistance genes and mechanisms, his research now emphasizes investigating the effector complements of the Arabidopsis oomycete pathogens Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis and Albugo candida using next-generation sequencing methods. Dr. Jones was elected a member of EMBO in 1998 and Fellow of the Royal Society in 2003.
Dr. Steve Kay, Dean Dr. Steve Kay, Dean, Division of Biological Sciences, Richard C. Atkinson Chair in the Biological Sciences, Professor, Section of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of California, San Diego 

Dr. Kay is trained in genetics and genomics and received his Ph.D. from the University of Bristol, UK. Dr. Kay's research involves the large scale application of genomics technologies and systems approaches to understand complex regulatory networks in plant and animal cells. He has applied functional genomics screens and chemical biology approaches to elucidate the composition of the molecular circuitry underlying circadian rhythms. His most recent interests lie at the interface between food and energy security with basic plant and microbial science, as well as continuing to apply genomics to the discovery of therapeutics. His work has been cited in Science magazine's "Breakthroughs of the Year" consecutively in 1997, 1998 and again in 2002. In 2008 he was elected a Member of the National Academy of Sciences USA, in 2009 elected an AAAS Fellow, and in 2010 awarded the UCSD Chancellor's Associates Faculty Award for Excellence in Research. He was recently chosen to receive the 2011 Martin Gibbs Medal by the American Society for Plant Biology as recognition for pioneering work in plant sciences.
Dr. Ute Krämer Dr. Ute Krämer, Head of the Department and Full Professor, Department of Plant Physiology, Ruhr-Universitat Bochum 

Dr. Krämer is Professor of Plant Physiology at the University of Bochum/Germany since 2009. Trained as a biochemist, she received a D.Phil. as a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom for work on the mechanistic basis underlying extreme traits in Arabidopsis relatives and continued her work during a post-doc at Rutgers University in New Jersey. Leading an Independently Funded Group at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology in Potsdam, Germany, she developed Arabidopsis halleri as a model for comparative genomics of plant adaptation and trace metal homeostasis in plants. She has received the Biofuture Prize of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
Dr. Sabeeha Merchant Dr. Sabeeha Merchant, Professor of Biochemistry, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, Los Angeles

Dr. Merchant is a Professor of Biochemistry at the University of California at Los Angeles. She received a Bachelor's degree in Molecular Biology and doctorate in Biochemistry, both from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. During her post-doctoral studies at Harvard, she developed Chlamydomonas as a reference organism for studying trace metal homeostasis in the context of nutrient deficiency. At UCLA since 1987, Merchant has expanded towards a whole genome view of trace element metabolism in algal organelles. Her work in the area of photosynthesis and algal biology has been recognized by multiple awards from UCLA, the ASPB and the NAS.
Dr. Patrick Schnable Dr. Patrick Schnable, Baker Professor of Agronomy; Director, Center for Plant Genomics, Iowa State University Founding Director, Center for Plant Genomics

Dr. Schnable's scientific investigations have been wide-ranging. Recently he was the co-lead author on the maize genome sequencing paper (Science) and a co-corresponding author on a Nature Genetics paper that reported the re-sequencing of six additional maize haplotypes. Schnable serves as an associate editor for PLoS Genetics. In 2009 he was appointed a Chang Jiang Scholar Professor at China Agriculture University and in 2010 he was elected a fellow in the AAAS. He is also the managing partner for Data2Bio LLC which helps biologists design and analyze NGS projects.
Dr. Mark Tester Dr. Mark Tester, Professor of Plant Physiology, School of Agriculture, Food & Wine, University of Adelaide, based in the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics; Director, Australian Plant Phenomics Facility

Dr. Tester led the establishment of the APPF, a $55m organization that develops and delivers state-of-the-art phenotyping facilities, including The Plant Accelerator, an innovative plant growth and analysis facility. He also leads a large academic research group using forward and reverse genetic approaches to understand salinity tolerance and nitrogen use efficiency, and how to improve this in crops such as wheat and rice.
Dr. Jianming Yu Dr. Jianming Yu, Associate Professor, Department of Agronomy, Kansas State University

The focus of Dr. Yu's research has been centered on complex trait dissection, identifying molecular variation underlying phenotypic variation. His research integrates knowledge in quantitative genetics, plant breeding, genomics, molecular genetics, and statistics with an ultimate goal of developing and applying new strategies and methods in trait dissection and crop improvement. His current research includes genome-wide association analysis with diverse germplasm or multiple designed mapping populations, genomic selection to efficiently integrate high throughput genotyping into pedigree breeding, gene cloning of traits with agronomic and domestication importance, and genome and chromosome evolution across taxonomic groups.