MPGI Distinguished Scientists Lecturer Series

The Distinguished Scientists Lecturer Series features the latest research of prominent scientists including members of the National Academy of Science. In addition to presenting a seminar, speakers join University faculty and their members for research discussions. Speakers engage with graduate students and postdoctoral scientists about the pros and cons of careers in academia, industry, or government, integrity in research, and other areas of interest for the new scientists.

Previous lecturers:
2014Dr. James CarringtonPresident, Donald Danforth Plant Science CenterRNA Silencing Mechanisms in Plants
2011Dr. David PellmanProfessor of Cell Biology, Margaret M. Dyson Professor of Pediatric Oncology, Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute   
 Dr. James Van EttenWilliam Allington Distinguished Professor, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Nebraska - Lincoln Center for Plant Science Innovation 
 Dr. Simon ChanAssistant Professor, Plant Biology, University of California - DavisEngineering centromeres to produce haploid plants
2010Dr. Kirsten BombliesAssistant Professor, Dept. of Organismic & Evolutionary Biology, Harvard UniversityHypochondriacs of the plant world - linking resistance gene diversity and genetic incompatibility
 Dr. Michael R. FreelingDepartment of Plant and Microbial Biology, University of California – BerkeleyThe evolutionary and gene regulatory consequences of polyploidy
 Michael CleggDonald Bren Professor of Biological Sciences, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California - IrvineWhat Can Genetics Tell Us About the History of Plant Domestication?
 J. Woodland HastingsPaul C. Mangelsdorf Professor of Natural Sciences, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard UniversityEvolutionary origins, biochemical mechanisms and the many different functions of bioluminescence
2009Jeffrey PalmerDistinguished Professor, Chair of the Department of Biology, Indiana University - BloomingtonHorizontal Gene Transfer Gone Wild in Mitochondrial Genomes:Whole Genome transfer, Chimeric Genes, and Compartment specific Mechanism
 Jasper RineHoward Hughes Professor and Professor of Genetics, Genomics and Development, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California - BerkeleyLooking for the Good News in the Human Genome
2008Jim TumlinsonRalph O. Mumma Professor of Entomology and Director, Center for Chemical Ecology, Pennsylvania State UniversityChemical signaling in plant-insect interactions
 Richard DixonSenior Vice President, Professor and Director of the Plant Biology Division, Samuel Roberts Noble FoundationBiosynthesis and metabolic engineering of phenylpropanoid-derived compounds for plant quality trait enhancement
 Hugo DoonerProfessor, Department of Plant Biology & Pathology, Waksman Institute of Microbiology, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJGenome structure variation and meiotic recombination in maize
 Jeffrey BennetzenGiles Professor of Molecular Biology and Functional Genomics, Department of Genetics, University of GeorgiaHyper-instability and site directed recombination in otherwise highly unstable plant genomes
2007Roger BeachyPresident, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, St. Louis, MOSearching for the Achilles heel in virus replication and genetic engineering to reduce disease in plants
 Michael F. ThomashowDirector, MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences & Microbiology, Michigan State UniversityGene Regulons and Regulatory Networks Involved in Plant Cold Acclimation
 Roy Curtiss, IIIProfessor of Life Sciences, School of Life Sciences, Co-Director, Center for Infectious Diseases & Vaccinology, Arizona Biodesign Institute, Arizona State UniversityGenetic design and manipulation of Salmonella for delivery of protective antigens to immunized animal and human hosts
 Eugene NesterProfessor, Department of Microbiology, University of WashingtonSalicylic acid: More than just aspirin in Agrobacterium-plant interactions
2006Marc Van MontaguEmeritus Professor, Department of Molecular Biology, President of the European Federation of Biotechnology, Founder & Chair of the Institute of Plant Biotechnology for Developing Countries, Ghent University, BelgiumThe GM-Plant Dispute
 James TiedjeUniversity Distinguished Professor of Microbiology, Director of the Center for Microbial Ecology, Michigan State University Genomic windows into the diverse microbial world
 E. Peter GreenbergProfessor and Chair, Department of Microbiology, University of WashingtonThe Sociomicrobiology of Pseudomonas aeruginosa
2005Bob GoldbergProfessor, Dept. of Molecular, Cell & Developmental Biology, University of California-Los AngelesUsing genomics to dissect plant embryo development in research and undergraduate education
 Todd KlaenhammerDirector, Southeast Dairy Foods Research Center, North Carolina State UniversityA light in the tract …genomic views of intestinal lactobacilli
 James WomackDistinguished Professor, College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M UniversityStatus of bovine genomics: Sequencing and beyond
2004Chris SomervilleDirector of the Dept. of Plant Biology, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Professor of Biological Sciences, Stanford UniversityGenetic dissection of cell wall structure and function
2003Charles ArntzenCo-Director, Center for Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology, Arizona Biodesign Institute, Arizona State UniversityUsing the power of plant biotechnology to prevent infectious disease: The science of plant-derived vaccines
 Christopher T. WalshDepartment of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical SchoolAntibiotic maturation by action of tailoring glycosyltransferases
 Paul R. EhrlichCenter for Conservation Biology, Stanford UniversityBiology and the environment: A 2003 perspective
 Brian J. StaskawiczHead of Section for Plant-Biotic Interactions, Department of Plant Biology, University of California-Berkeley Bacterial proteins conferring disease immunity in plants
2002Susan R. WesslerResearch Professor of Botany and Genetics, University of GeorgiaTransposable elements: From genetics to genomics