Botrytis cinerea inoculation on Arabidopsis thaliana

CMB Faculty studying plant molecular biology work on a variety of plant species ranging from the well – known model Arabidopsis to economically important crops such as wheat and rice.  Ongoing projects are aimed at characterizing and enhancing metabolism of nutrients, as well as facilitating disease and stress resistance through modulation of immune and stress responses.  Metabolomics, next – generation sequencing and synthetic biology approaches facilitate research in this area.


Cris ArguesoCris Argueso
Assistant Professor (Agricultural Biology)
Plant Hormones in Plant Growth and Defense


Corey Broeckling
Faculty Affiliate (College of Agriculture)

Franck DayanFranck Dayan
Professor (Agricultural Biology)
The traits imparting weediness (competition, cold and heat stress tolerance etc…) to plants, and how these amazing organisms evolve resistance to herbicides.

Arjun Khakhar
Assistant Professor (Biology; Plant Biology)

Reengineering crops to be more productive, delicious and resilient to the effects of climate change.

June MedfordJune Medford
Professor (Biology)
Molecular and genetic studies of Arabidopsis; plant sentinels; synthetic biology.

Vamsi NalamVamsi Nalam
Assistant Professor (Agricultural Biology)
Physiological and molecular mechanisms underpinning interactions between plants, insect herbivores, and pathogenic microbes as a means of managing pests and diseases.

Marc NishimuraMarc Nishimura
Assistant Professor (Biology)
Plant – microbe interactions

Christie PeeblesChristie Peebles
Associate Professor (Chemical and Biological Engineering)Plant metabolic engineering to produce pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, bio – based chemicals and fuels.

Graham PeersGraham Peers
Associate Professor (Biology)
Photosynthetic Efficiency and Algal Ecophysiology

Ashok Prasad
Professor (Chemical and Biological Engineering and School of Biomedical Engineering)

Mathematical and computational modeling of biological processes.

Adam Heuberger
Associate Professor (Horticulture & Landscape Architecture)
Studies biochemical diversity in plants and foods. His technical expertise is in metabolomics and plant chemistry and he works with many students developing and refining experimental plans in this area.

Jessica PrenniJessica Prenni
Associate Professor (Horticulture & Landscape Architecture)
Novel methods and applications using mass spectrometry to address important issues in food and agricultural crop quality and safety.

Anireddy ReddyAnireddy Reddy
Professor (Biology)
Signal transduction mechanisms; regulation of gene expression; crop improvement by genetic engineering.

Dan Sloan

Dan Sloan
Associate Professor (Biology)
Evolutionary forces that shape cyto – nuclear interactions at the genome level.

Jane StewartJane Stewart
Assistant Professor (Agricultural Biology)
The biology, ecology and genetics of emerging tree / plant pathogenic fungi.

Charlene Van BuitenCharlene Van Buiten
Assistant Professor (Food Science & Human Nutrition)
Development of nutraceutical approaches for treating chronic inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract; processing plant-based foods for optimization of bioactive profiles.

Affiliate Faculty

Asa Ben-Hur
Professor (Computer Science)
Machine learning for predicting protein function and alternative splicing.

Todd Gaines
Assistant Professor (Agricultural Biology)
Molecular weed science and functional weed genomics.

Jan Leach
Professor (Agricultural Biology)
Genes involved in broad – spectrum, durable disease resistance and in biomass accumulation.

Jorge M. Vivanco
Professor (Horticulture & Landscape Architecture)
Biochemical, molecular and metabolic profiling approaches to root exudations processes; biology and biochemistry of ribosome – inactivating proteins in plants.


BSPM 510 Insect Plant Disease Relationships
BSPM 526 Evolutionary Ecology
BSPM 550 Advanced Molecular – Plant Microbe Interactions
BZ555 Reproduction in Higher Plants
BZ 570 Molecular Aspects of Plant Development
BZ 572 Phytoremediation
BZ 642 Plant Metabolism
FSHN 508 International Nutrition and World Hunger
FTEC 578 Phytochemicals and Probiotics for Health
HORT 571 Soil-Plant-Water Relations / Water Stress
HORT 575 Plant Germplasm Conservation
HORT 675 Plant Stress Physiology
HORT 580 Phytochemicals to Improve Human Health
SOCR 535 Origin and Evolution of Cultivated Plants
SOCR 540 Soil – Plant Nutrient Relationships
SOCR 720 Advanced Plant Breeding
SOCR 725 Quantitative Inheritance in Plant Breeding
SOCR 730 Topics in Plant Breeding and Genetics
SOCR 731 Plant Breeding Data Management
BSPM / SOCR 740 Plant Molecular Genetics

Facilities and Resources

CMB Students

Tyler Todd (Nishimura Lab)
(MS, SP 2021 Cohort)

Kyle Pfeiffer (Nalam Lab)
(MS, 2020 Cohort)

Carlos Guzman Juarez (Argueso Lab)
(MS, 2020 Cohort)

Daniel Kunk (Nalam Lab)
(PhD, 2020 Cohort)

Sam Ogden (Nishiura Lab)
(PhD, 2019 Cohort)

Angel McKay Whiteman (Medford Lab)
(MS, 2020 Cohort)

Hannah BerryHannah Berry (Argueso Lab)
USDA – NIFA Pre – doctoral Fellow
2019-20 Sustainability Fellow

Nikki HuynhNikki Huynh (Reddy Lab)

Valerie Lindstrom (Prenni Lab)

Katy McIntyreKaty McIntyre (Argueso Lab)
NSF – GRFP Fellow
USDA-NIFA Predoctoral Fellowship-2020
American Society of Plant Biologists Travel Award-2020

Alissa WilliamsAlissa Williams (Sloan Lab)
GAANN Pre – doctoral Fellow 2016
NSF – GRFP Fellow 2017 – 18
qCMB T32 Pre – doctoral Fellow 2019


Nikki HuynhNikki Huynh (Reddy Lab)
(MS, 2018 Cohort)

Sara OehmkeSara Oehmke- (Medford Lab)
Forensic Scientist at DPS Group Global

Stephen Cohen (PhD 2019, Leach Lab) – USDA – NIFA Post – Doctoral Fellow Ohio State University

Sere Williams (MS 2019, Reddy Lab) – CMB PhD Student

Shea Moore-Farrell (MS 2018, Peebles Lab) – Data Configuration Specialist at Pure Market

K.A. Leddy (MS 2018, Stewart Lab)

Allison Werner (PhD 2018, Peebles Lab) – Postdoctoral researcher at NREL

Mike Caballero (PhD 2017, Peers Lab) – Data Scientist Hackensack Meridian Health

Mohammed Albaqami (PhD 2017, Reddy Lab) – Assistant Professor, Umm Al – Qura University

Kate Rockenbach (MS 2017, Sloan Lab) -Research Assistant at Anheuser-Busch InBev


A comprehensive time-course metabolite profiling of the model cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 under diurnal light:dark cycles. Werner A, Broeckling CD, Prasad A, Peebles CAM. Plant J. 2019  99(2):379-388

The Arabidopsis splicing regulator SR45 confers salt tolerance in a splice isoform-dependent manner. Albaqami M, Laluk K, Reddy ASN. Plant Mol Biol. 2019  100(4-5):379-390

Selfish Mitonuclear Conflict. Havird JC, Forsythe ES, Williams AM, Werren JH, Dowling DK, Sloan DB. Curr Biol. 2019  29(11):R496-R511

Abiotic and biotic stresses induce a core transcriptome response in rice. Cohen SP, Leach JE. Sci Rep. 2019 9(1):6273

Extreme variation in rates of evolution in the plastid Clp protease complex. Williams AM, Friso G, van Wijk KJ, Sloan DB. Plant J. 2019 98(2):243-259