Plant Molecular Biology (PMB) Faculty

Prachee Avasthi, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Cell Biology

Office:  Vail 409A

Phone:  TBD

We are a fundamental cell biology lab using genetics, bioche­mistry, chemical biology, microscopy, and quantitative image analysis to probe how signaling and trafficking coordinate to build higher order cytoskeletal structures. We use the simplest and most powerful model system appropriate for our studies, a yeast-like alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii,to study a conserved microtubule-based sensory organelle, the cilium. Defects in cilia, which are found on nearly all human cells, can cause blindness, kidney disease, diabetes, cancer, and other disorders.  We also study organization and regulation of the actin cytoskeleton, which we previously found has a major role in ciliary assembly. Lab projects span a wide array of topics including cytoskeletal dynamics, intracellular trafficking, and signal-dependent organelle regulation.

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Magdalena Bezanilla, Ph.D.

Ernest Everett Just 1907 Professor of Biological Sciences

Office: LSC 334

Phone: 603-646-2314


My research aims to understand how molecules within cells impart geometric information ultimately leading to cell shape determination. Research in my lab seeks to identify molecules within the cell that control cellular patterning. We are particularly interested in the role of regulators of the cytoskeleton and membrane trafficking and have pioneered the use of the moss Physcomitrella patens. Using the unusually rapid transgenic capabilities of moss, we are pursuing novel approaches to dissect the molecular mechanisms underlying plant cell shape.

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Mary Lou Guerinot, Ph.D.

Ronald and Deborah Harris Professor in the Sciences, Professor of Biological Sciences, and Molecular and Systems Biology

Office: 325 Life Sciences Center

Phone: 603-646-2527


My principal expertise and research interests are in the area of metal transport and regulation of gene expression by metals. Plants are the major point of entry for essential metals into the food chain, so our work is laying the foundation for crops that offer sustainable solutions for malnutrition.


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Thomas P. Jack, Ph.D.

Professor and Chair of Biological Sciences

Office: 331 Life Sciences Center

Phone: 603-646-3367


Molecular Genetics of flower development in Arabidopsis thaliana.


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C. Robertson McClung, Ph.D.

Patricia F. / William B. Hale 1944 Professor in the Arts and Sciences, Professor of Biological Sciences

Office: 323 Life Sciences Center

Phone: 603-646-3940


The ability of an organism to measure time is the product of a cellular biological clock. Many phenomena controlled by the biological clock cycle on a daily basis and are called circadian rhythms. My goal is to understand the genetic and biochemical mechanisms by which a plant measures time and uses that temporal information to regulate gene expression and cellular physiology.


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G. Eric Schaller, Ph.D.

Professor of Biological Sciences

Office: 339 Life Sciences Center

Phone: 603-646-2525


Signal transduction by the plant hormones ethylene and cytokinin, and how these hormones act to control growth and development.


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