Frontiers and Techniques in Plant Science (CANCELED)
June 26 - July 16, 2020
Application & Materials Deadline: March 15, 2020


José Dinneny, Stanford University
Niko Geldner, University of Lausanne, Switzerland
Julie Law, The Salk institute


CCOVID-19: UPDATE April 2, 2020: It is with considerable regret that we announce the cancellation of this course for 2020 but it will be rescheduled to similar dates in 2021.


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

Read an article on peer review written by the 2018 students and teaching assistants.

The Frontiers and Techniques in Plant Science course provides an intensive overview of topics in genomics, genetics, physiology, biochemistry, development, and evolution and hands-on experiences in molecular, imaging, computational and high throughput approaches to understanding plant biology. It emphasizes recent results from model organisms including Arabidopsis and maize 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 mechanical 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, regulatory networks, transient gene expression, cell-type specific gene expression analysis, computational large-scale data analysis, applications of fluorescent proteins including live imaging, genome editing, and chromatin immunoprecipitation.

Gain hands-on experience in:
  • Computational tools and environments for genome assembly
  • Plant imaging and image analysis
  • Design and use of fluorescent sensors
  • Transcriptomics
  • Single cell sequencing
  • Gene network analysis and data visualization tools
  • Mathematical modeling of development and hormone action
  • Purification of cell-type specific nuclei (INTACT)
  • Genome editing

2020 Guest Speakers:

Lisa Ainsworth, USDA ARS 
Julia Bailey-Serres,
University of California, Riverside
Siobhan Brady, University of California, Davis  
Sean Cutler, University of California, Riverside
Roger Deal, Emory University
José Dinneny, Stanford University
Liam Dolan, University of Oxford, UK
Xinnian Dong, Duke University
Niko Geldner, University of Lausanne, Switzerland
David Jackson, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Xander Jones, Sainsbury Laboratory, UK
Sharon Kessler, Purdue University 
Julie Law, The Salk institute
Robert Martienssen, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Saket Navlakha, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory 
Uta Paszkowski, University of Cambridge
Ullas Pedmale, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Jonathan Preall, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Nicolas Povart, University of Toronto, Canada
Neelima Sinha, University of California, Davis
Chris Surridge, Nature Plants, UK
Dan Voytas, University of Minnesota
Jason Williams, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Support & Stipends:

Major support provided by: National Science Foundation.

We would like to acknowledge the following companies that provided invaluable support:
Morrell Instruments Co, Inc, Nikon Instruments, Inc
Bitplane, Thermo Fisher Scientific

Stipends are available to offset tuition costs as follows:


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): $5,140

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.

Before applying, ensure you have:
  1. Personal statement/essay;
  2. Letter(s) of recommendation;
  3. Curriculum vitae/resume (optional);
  4. Financial aid request (optional).
    More details.

If you are not ready to fully apply but wish to express interest in applying, receive a reminder two weeks prior to the deadline, and tell us about your financial aid requirements, click below: