Interdepartmental Genetics
Faculty and Research
Eduard Akhunov, PLANT PATHOLOGY. Ph.D. 1999, Institute of Genetics, Russia.
Wheat genomics and genetics, plant population genetics and molecular evolution of grass genomes, evolution of polyploid plants, genomics of adaptation to environmental stressors.

Alina Akhunova, PLANT PATHOLOGY. Ph.D. 1998, St. Petersburg State University, Russia.
Guihua Bai, AGRONOMY. Ph.D. 1995, Purdue University.
Wheat molecular mapping, molecular marker-assisted breeding, and gene expression profiling using microarrays with an emphasis on wheat resistance to Fusarium head blight, leaf rust, and aluminum toxicity.
Nora Bello, STATISTICS. Ph.D. 2010, Michigan State University.
Statistical genetics and genomics. Development and application of statistical models to problems in agriculture and biology, with emphasis on applications in genetics and genomics. Generalized linear mixed models. Hierarchical Bayesian models. Heterogeneity of variances and covariances. Multivariate linear models.
Jennifer Bormann, ANIMAL SCIENCES & INDUSTRY. Ph.D. 2004, Iowa State University.
Applied genetics of livestock; genetic relationships between economically important traits; genetics of efficiency, reproduction, and health in beef cattle; integration of genomics into selection programs.

Susan J. Brown, BIOLOGY. Ph.D. 1984, University of Missouri.
Developmental genetics of model insects, especially the flour beetle Tribolium.

Ming-Shun Chen, USDA-ARS & ENTOMOLOGY. Ph.D. 1991, Kansas State University.
Molecular genetics of insect parasites of plants. Functions of secreted proteins from salivary glands of the Hessian fly parasite of wheat.

Rollie J. Clem, BIOLOGY. Ph.D. 1994, University of Georgia.
Mechanisms by which apoptosis, or programmed cell death, is regulated at the molecular level. The function of apoptosis in antiviral defense and the methods by which viruses are able to manipulate apoptosis in their host cells for their own benefit.
Timothy Durrett, BIOCHEMISTRY AND MOLECULAR BIOPHYSICS. Ph.D. 2006, University of Missouri.
Biochemical mechanisms controlling oil accumulation in developing seeds. Understanding the relationship between structure and function for membrane bound acytltransferases. Developing oil seed crops useful for different industrial and biofuel applications.

John P. Fellers, USDA-ARS & PLANT PATHOLOGY. Ph.D. 1996, University of Kentucky.
Mapping and isolation of wheat genes in wheat for resistance to Karnal bunt, leaf rust, stem rust, scab, Septoria, Hessian fly, and viruses. We are using a genomics approach to identify new markers and expressed sequence tags for these genes.

Carolyn Ferguson, BIOLOGY. Ph.D. 1998, University of Texas, Austin.
Plant systematics: particularly phylogenetics and polyploidy in the genus Phlox.

Bernd R. Friebe, PLANT PATHOLOGY. Ph.D. 1977, Free University of Berlin.
Cytogenetics, molecular cytogenetics, and evolution of wheat; management of wheat genetic resources, germplasm, and genetic stocks.
Allan K. Fritz, AGRONOMY. Ph.D. 1994, Kansas State University.
Wheat breeding and genetics with an emphasis on understanding biotic and abiotic factors that impact wheat production in Kansas.
Erika Geisbrecht, BIOCHEMISTRY AND MOLECULAR BIOPHYSICS. Ph.D. 2003, Johns Hopkins University.
Biochemistry and molecular genetics in the model organism Drosophila melanogaster. Mechanisms of embryonic myogenesis. Formation and maintenance of muscle attachments. Identification and characterization of genes that result in myopathies. Cell signaling in development. Formation of the dorsal vessel, or insect heart.

Bikram S. Gill, PLANT PATHOLOGY. Ph.D. 1973, University of California-Davis.
Cytogenetics, molecular cytogenetics, and evolution of polyploid plant species; crop plant genetics, pathology, and breeding; management of wheat genetic resources, germ plasm, and genetic stocks.
Revathi Govind, BIOLOGY. Ph.D. 2006, Texas Tech University HSC.
Bacterial genetics, bacterial pathogenesis, molecular pathogenic microbiology, anaerobic bacterial pathogens.

Michael A. Herman, BIOLOGY. Ph.D. 1991, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Genetic control of cell polarity during metazoan development. Program focuses mainly on the free-living soil nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, because of its small number of cells, all of which can be seen in the light microscope, and its amenability to genetic analysis.

Michael R. Kanost, BIOCHEMISTRY & MOLECULAR BIOPHYSICS. Ph.D. 1983, Purdue University.
Biochemistry of insect immune responses; Serine proteinases and proteinase inhibitors in insect hemolymph. Regulation of the prophenoloxidase activation cascade. Insect hemolymph proteins that recognize polysaccharides on the surface of pathogens. Cell adhesion in encapsulation of parasites by insect hemocytes. Biochemistry of insect cuticle sclerotization.
John F. Leslie, PLANT PATHOLOGY. Ph.D. 1979, University of Wisconsin.
Fungal molecular genetics. Population biology of Fusarium species and other plant pathogenic fungi.
Sanzhen Liu, PLANT PATHOLOGY. Ph.D. 2010, Iowa State University.
Genome assembly, comparative genomics, identification of genetic variants conferring plant disease resistance and understanding interactions between pathogens and plants.

Beth A. Montelone, BIOLOGY. Ph.D. 1982, University of Rochester.
Currently NOT taking students.
DNA metabolism in yeast. Use of the model organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae (bakers' yeast) to investigate mechanisms of spontaneous genetic changes in cells and their relationship to DNA repair systems.
Ted Morgan, BIOLOGY. Ph.D. 2002, Washington State University.
Geoffrey Morris, AGRONOMY, Ph.D. 2007, University of Chicago.
Genetic dissection of adaptive traits in crops and wild relatives. Population and functional genomics of global crop diversity. Genomic approaches to crop improvement for US and international agriculture.

S. Muthukrishnan, BIOCHEMISTRY & MOLECULAR BIOPHYSICS. Ph.D. 1970, Indian Institute of Science.
Identification and characterization of genes involved in plant defense against microbial pathogens. Molecular analysis of different domains of the Manduca sexta (tobacco hornworm) chitinase. Plant transformation protocols. Bioassays of transgenic crop plants (wheat, sorghum, corn, soybean) for resistance to fungi and insect pests.
Sunghun Park, HORTICULTURE, FORESTRY & RECREATION RESOURCES. Ph.D. 1995, Texas A&M University.
Role of calcium in fruit and vegetable cell physiology, enhancement of production and nutritional quality of horticultural crops.
Yoonseong Park, ENTOMOLOGY. Ph.D. 1998, University of Arizona.
Neurobiology - behavior - evolution of insect signaling peptides and their receptors. Risk assessment of the SIT (sterile insect program) transgenic conditional lethal gene.
Jesse Poland, PLANT PATHOLOGY. Ph.D. 2010, Cornell University.
Wheat genetics and germplasm improvement; marker technologies, association genetics and genomic selection for use in breeding. Resistance to the major nemeses of wheat; stem rust, stripe rust and leaf rust.
Gregory Ragland, ENTOMOLOGY. Ph.D. 2007, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Insect genetics and genomics; physiological analyses to elucidate mechanisms of environmental adaptation.
Dorith Rotenberg, PLANT PATHOLOGY. Ph.D. 2000, University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Genomics and transcriptomics of plant virus-insect vector interactions with the goal of identifying and characterizing insect vector determinants of virus transmission to crop plants. Integrative biotech-based strategies to specifically target vector and viral genes to combat vector-borne diseases of agronomic crops.
William T. Schapaugh, AGRONOMY. Ph.D. 1979, Purdue University.
Soybean breeding and genetics.
Kathrin Schrick, BIOLOGY. Ph.D. 1994, University of Washington.
Molecular mechanisms underlying growth and development of flowering plants.
C. Michael Smith, ENTOMOLOGY. Ph.D. 1976, Mississippi State University.
Mapping cereal genes for arthropod resistance, resistance gene expression.
Tesfaye Tesso, AGRONOMY. Ph.D. 2002, Kansas State University.
Richard Todd, PLANT PATHOLOGY. Ph.D. 1998, University of Melbourne.
Fungal genetics and genomics. Molecular mechanisms of gene regulation and gene function, especially in the genetic model eukaryote Aspergillus nidulans.

Chris Toomajian, PLANT PATHOLOGY. Ph.D. 2002, University of Chicago.
Population and evolutionary genetics and genomics of plants and plant pathogens.
Harold N. Trick, PLANT PATHOLOGY. Ph.D. 1995. Florida State University.
Plant tissue culture, transformation and molecular biology of wheat, soybean and corn.
Barbara Valent, PLANT PATHOLOGY. Ph.D. 1978, University of Colorado.
Molecular genetics of model plant pathogenic fungi.
Govindsamy Vediyappan, BIOLOGY. Ph.D. 1994, University of Madras, India.
Pathogenic microbiology, bacterial genetics & mycology.

Stephen Welch, AGRONOMY. Ph.D. 1977, Michigan State University.
Theoretical plant modeling focusing on genotype-to-phenotype relationships in key plant traits. The specific approach utilized merges mathematical elements drawn from ecophysiological, gene network, and quantitative genetic models. Current modeling effors require high performance computing and 3D graphics.

Anna Whitfield, PLANT PATHOLOGY. Ph.D. 2004, University of Wisconsin.
Plant - virus - arthropod vector interactions. Developing a molecular understanding of virus acquisition and transmission by arthropod vectors.