Dr. Jeff Dangl has been tagged by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (GBMF) as one of the nation’s most innovative plant scientists. As a newly minted HHMI-GBMF investigator, Jeff and the 14 other recipients will receive support that gives them the freedom to “be able to move their research in creative new directions”. The HHMI-GBMF recognizes that basic plant research has been underfunded. It is investing 75 million dollars over the next 5 years in new plant research in an effort to push forward research that addresses questions such as:
• How can photosynthesis be made more efficient?
• How can plants be efficiently propagated without seeds?
• What mechanisms do plants use to sense temperature and day length and how do they use that information to decide when to flower?
• How do plants control the form and function of their root systems?
• What makes certain bacteria able to induce disease in plants?
• How do plants recognize beneficial versus pathogenic microbes?
• How do hormones control a plant’s life cycle – from embryo to senescence?
Dr. Dangl’s lab focuses on research in the plant Arabidopsis thaliana, which is used as a model to study the interactions that take place during infections by phytopathogenic bacteria and fungus. Congratulations again on being named a HHMI-GBMF Investigator!
For more information on the goals of this new HHMI-GBMF initiative click here.