Center for Plant Cell Biology


cepceb research

CEPCEB Member Sean Cutler Elected to the National Academy of Sciences

May 1, 2018: Sean Cutler, a professor of plant cell biology at the University of California, Riverside has been elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) for his scientific research on small molecules that enable plants to withstand drought.

Sean is now the sixth CEPCEB member and seventh IIGB member on campus to be elected to the National Academy of Sciences (Susan Wessler, Alexander Raikhel, Natasha Raikhel, Xuemei Chen, CEPCEB Director Julia Bailey-Serres, and Janet Franklin).
A graduate of the University of Toronto with a doctorate from Stanford University, Cutler has been a member of the UCR faculty since 2007. Cutler is being recognized for pioneering the use of chemistry and genetics to define genes and manipulate the resiliency of plants to drought. His fundamental work led to the identification of receptors for the plant hormone abscisic acid, which helps protects plants against drought stress. He subsequently built on this discovery to develop synthetic hormone mimics and other chemical tools that can be used to improve drought tolerance and reprogram plant physiology to deliver improved water productivity or “more crop per drop.”

Read more on the new IIGB website.

Sean Cutler

CEPCEB's 15th Annual Symposium/Award Ceremony 

The Thirteenth Annual CEPCEB Award Ceremony was held December 8, 2018 in the Genomics Auditorium.The format of the day's symposium enabled members and friends of CEPCEB to form new contacts and collaborations as well as gain greater insight into the science performed in the Center. 

The 2018 Distinguished Noel T. Keen Lecturer was Professor Christina Smolke. Christina D. Smolke is Professor and W.M. Keck Foundation Faculty Scholar in the Department of Bioengineering and, by courtesy, Chemical Engineering at Stanford University. Christina’s academic research program develops foundational tools that drive transformative advances in our ability to engineering biology. Her group has pioneered the development of yeast biosynthesis platforms for complex plant-based alkaloids, including the opioids and noscapinoids. Christina is also Co-Founder and CEO of Antheia, which leverages advances in synthetic biology,  genomics, informatics, and  fermentation to transform how we make and discover important medicines. Her impact in advancing the frontiers of biotechnology has been recognized with numerous awards, including Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Investigator, Nature’s 10, AIMBE College of Fellows, NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, WTN Award in Biotechnology, and TR35 Award.

The 2018 program is here

The 2017 program is here

The 2016 program is here

The 2015 program is here

The 2014 program is  here.

The 2013 program is  here.


CEPCEB Celebrates Its 10th Anniversary!

CEPCEB celebrated its 10th anniversary with a full-day symposium on Friday, December 14, 2012 in the Genomics Auditorium. The program featured five external speakers, including our Noel T. Keen Lecturer James Carrington from the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, and three CEPCEB speakers. 

For detailed information, please visit our news page.

 CEPCEB's 10th Anniversary Symposium

The Frontier of Research in Plant Cell Biology and Genomics, Systems-Based Approach

This is an exciting time for plant biology. Plants are the basis of all life on Earth, whether as components of natural ecosystems or as domesticated crops used for food, feed and materials. After centuries of study, we are beginning to understand the complex signals and biochemical networks that allow plants to rapidly and exquisitely adapt to diverse environments as vital components of the earth's biosphere. The Center for Plant Cell Biology (CEPCEB) focuses on a diverse group of plants and fungi that provide the foundation for all life on earth. Capitalizing on the scientific momentum created by the genome sequencing of two important plants - Arabidopsis and rice - CEPCEB seeks to develop a comprehensive understanding of how plants function as whole organisms. The goal of this scientific challenge, involving an interdisciplinary effort by engineers, plant biologists, plant pathologists, chemists, physicists and computer scientists, is to apply the knowledge of how plants respond to their dynamic environment toward manipulation of crop plants safely and efficiently for better and more sustainable production.

We are inspired to transfer our excitement of plant cell biology to a new generation of scientists who will extend research at our university around the world.


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