2019 Alumni Achievement Award

October 22, 2019

Recipient: Dr. Steve Jacobsen 

Professor, Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology; Biological Chemistry, UCLA

Steven Jacobsen (Ph.D. Plant Physiology, ‘93) is a world-renowned researcher in epigenetics, a field that focuses on gene expression due to gene modification in lieu of changes to genes themselves. He studies the epigenetic modification of the plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Jacobsen is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator.

Professional aspirations

I hope that by the end of my career, gene silencing pathways in plants are understood at a deep level. I also hope that my former postdocs and students continue on in fruitful science careers, are happy, and impart their love of science on future generations of students. Finally, I hope that our understanding of DNA methylation and gene silencing pathways leads to tools that are used in plant breeding and crop improvement.

Point of pride

My record in training postdocs and placing them in academic positions. 

Best memory from your time in CBS?

The thrill of joining Neil Olszewski’s lab, and feeling like I had the chance to really learn how to do basic research.