Frontiers and Techniques In Plant Science
June 30 - July 20, 2017
Application Deadline: March 31, 2017


Sean Cutler, University of California Riverside
Uta Paszkowski, University of Cambridge, UK
Nicholas Provart, University of Toronto, Canada

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

The Frontiers and Techniques in Plant Science course provides an intensive overview of topics in plant genetics, physiology, biochemistry, development, and evolution and hands-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, both theoretically and practically.

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 hands-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.

Confirmed 2017 Speakers:

Julia Bailey-Serres, University of California, Riverside
David Baulcombe, Cambridge University
Siobhan Brady, University of California, Davis
Andy Breakspear, John Innes Center, UK
José Dinneny, Carnegie Institution for Science
John Doebley, University of Wisconsin
Niko Geldner, University of Lausanne
Simon Gilroy, University of Wisconsin
Julian Hibberd, Cambridge University
Mark Johnson, Brown University
Daniel Koenig, University of California, Riverside
Julie Law, 
Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Richard Michelmore, University of California, Davis
David Nelson, University of California, Riverside
Giles Oldroyd, John Innes Center, UK
Scott Peck, University of Missouri
Ullas Pedmale, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Nicholas Provart, University of Toronto
Shin-Han Shiu, Michigan State University
Neelima Sinha, University of California, Davis
Chris Surridge, Nature Plants
Marja Timmermans, University of Tübingen
Dan Voytas, University of Minnesota
Jason Williams, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

2016 Laboratories:

Julia Bailey-Serres, University of California, Riverside:  RNA-Seq and Cell-Type-Specific Transcript Profiling
Pierre Barbier de Reuille, Univ. of Bern: 1. Mathematical modeling of plant growth; 2. Morphograph X
Siobhan Brady, University of California, Davis: Gene regulatory networks
Sean Cutler, University of California, Riverside: Genetic Mapping / Mapping by Sequencing;
Stacey Harmer, University of California, Davis: Isolation and analysis of an affinity tagged protein from plant extracts
Mark Johnson, Brown University: Confocal microscopy to detemine GFP-tagged proten localization using pollen tubes as a model system
Julie Law, Salk Institute for Biological Sciences: Chromatin immuno-precipitation
Julin 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: Bioinformatic tools in plant research;
Shin-Han Shiu, Michigan State University: 1. Phylogenetic Analysis
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

Support & Stipends

 Major support provided by the National Science Foundation

Stipends are available to offset tuition costs as follows:


US applicants (National Science Foundation)
Interdisciplinary Fellowships (transitioning from outside biology) & Scholarships (transitioning from other biological disciplines) (Helmsley Charitable Trust)
International applicants (Howard Hughes Medical Institute)

Please indicate your eligibility for funding in your stipend request submitted when you apply to the course. Stipend requests do not affect selection decisions made by the instructors. 

Cost (including board and lodging): $4,800

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 29 and plan to depart after lunch on July 20.