June 26 - July 16, 2015
Application Deadline: May 3, 2015

Brown University
Shin Han Shiu, Michigan State University
Marja Timmermans,
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Co-Instructor: Nicholas Provart, University of Toronto, Canada

See the roll of honor - who's taken the course in the past

This course provides an intensive overview of topics in plant genetics, physiology, biochemistry, development, and evolution and hand-on experiences in molecular, analytical, computational and high throughput approaches to understanding plant biology. It emphasizes recent results from model organisms including Arabidopsis, maize and tomato as well as a variety of other plants and provides an introduction to current methods used in basic and applied plant biology. The course is designed for scientists with some experience in molecular techniques or in plant biology who wish to work with plants using the latest technologies. The course consists of a vigorous lecture series, hands-on laboratories, informal discussions, and social activities designed to foster an intense but enjoyable learning environment. The instructors and a stellar group of speakers who are acknowledged leaders in their fields will present up-to-the-moment research and lead laboratory sessions on a wide range of topics in plant research.

The seminar series will include plant morphology and anatomy, development, evolution, light and circadian biology, hormones, small RNAs and epigenetic inheritance, biotic and abiotic interactions, plant biochemistry, crop domestication, and applications addressing current agronomic problems. Speakers will provide expert overviews of their fields, followed by in-depth discussions of their own work. The laboratory sessions will provide exposure to cutting edge experimental and computational techniques currently used in plant research. These include approaches for studying plant development, transient gene expression, applications of fluorescent proteins, genome editing, and chromatin immunoprecipitation. Students will also gain hand-on experience on computational tools and environments for genome assembly, transcriptomics, construction of gene regulatory networks, identification of quantitative trait loci, mapping by sequencing, and mathematical modeling of development and hormone action. The course also includes several short workshops on important themes in plant research. Throughout the course, students interact individually and informally with the speakers to further enrich the learning experience.

2015 Lecturers:
Julia Bailey-Serres, University of California Riverside: Abiotic stress response
Pierre Barbier de Reuille, University of Bern, Switzerland:
Siobhan Brady, University of California, Davis: Regulation of root development
Sean Cutler, University of California, Riverside: Chemical genomics
Stacey Harmer,
University of California, Davis: Circadian rhythms
Antje Heese,
University of Missouri: The role of membrane trafficking in plant innate immunity
Gregg Howe,
Michigan State University: Plant-insect interactions
Mark Johnson,
Brown University: Molecular dialogues between pollen and pistil
Elena Kramer,
Harvard University: How-to-EvoDevo: Pitfalls and considerations in comparative development/Aguilegia as a test case for developing new model systems
Cris Kuhlemeier,
University of Bern, Switzerland: Phyllotaxis: a quantitative developmental problem
Julia Law,
The Salk Institute: Chromatin modifications and epigenetics
Julin Maloof,
University of California, Davis: Light signaling
Uta Paszkowski,
University of Cambridge, UK: Molecular genetics of plant-fungal endosymbiosis
Scott Peck,
University of Missouri: New insights into non-self recognition between hosts and pathogens
Jeffrey Ross-Ibarra,
University of California, Davis:
Rowan Sage,
University of Toronto, Canada: Plant responses to global climate change
Shin-Han Shiu,
Michigan State University: Genome evolution
Vipula Shukla,
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: From insight to impact: How do we translate basic research into developing world agriculture?
Neelima Sinha,
University of California, Davis: Introduction to plant biology / Leaf development
Douglas Schemske,
Michigan State University: Mechanisms of adaptation
Marja Timmermans,
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory: Leaf polarity
Dan Voytas,
University of Minnesota: Precise genome engineering with sequence-specific nucleases
Detlef Weigel,
Max-Planck-Institute for Developmental Biology, Germany: Molecular evolution

2015 Laboratories:
Pierre Barbier de Reuille, University of Bern: 1. Mathematical modeling of plant growth; 2. Morphograph X
Siobhan Brady,
University of California, Davis: Gene regulatory networks
Stacey Harmer,
University of California, Davis: Isolation and analysis of an affinity tagged protein from plant extracts
Mark Johnson,
Brown University: 1. Confocal microscopy to detemine GFP-tagged proten localization using pollen tubes as a model system; 2. Biomolecular fluorescence complementation; 3. Map-based cloning
Elena Kramer,
Harvard University: 1. Basic Plant histology and an introduction to in situ hybridization; 2. Construction of phylogenetic trees
Julie Law,
Salk Institute for Biological Sciences: Chromatin immuno-precipitation
Julian Maloof,
University of California, Davis: 1. Introduction to R; 2. Identification of Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL)
Scott Peck,
University of Missouri: Analysis of membrane proteins
Nicholas Provart,
University of Toronto, Canada: 1. Bioinformatic tools in plant research; 2. Mapping by sequencing
Shin-Han Shiu,
Michigan State University: 1. RNA-seq analysis; 2. Genome assembly
Neelima Sinha,
University of California, Davis: Analysis of plant anatomy
Marja Timmermans,
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory: Design of artificial microRNAs
Dan Voytas,
University of Minnesota: Genome engineering - targeted genome modification using TAL effector nucleases (TALENs) and the CRISPR-CAS system

Several sources of support are available to provide partial or full scholarships for certain categories of applicant accepted into the course. National Science Foundation funds are only available for US applicants, and special consideration will be given to individuals from minority groups under-represented in the life sciences. Foreign applicants may be eligible for limited partial scholarship support through the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

This course is supported with funds provided by the National Science Foundation

Cost (including board and lodging): $4,705

This button links to a short form which confirms your interest in the course.
No fees are due until you have completed the full application process and
are accepted into the course.


Students accepted into the course should plan to arrive by early evening on June 25 and plan to depart after lunch on July 16.