Stephen Mayfield: Director. Ph.D., Professor of Molecular Biology and John Dove Isaacs Chair of Natural Philosophy


Mike Burkart: Associate Director. Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry



Yunde ZhaoDirector of Plant Biology. Ph.D., Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology

UC San Diego Biological Sciences


Steven Briggs, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology
Research areas: Use of genomic analysis of plants and animals, including the use of proteomics to identify regulatory aspects of lipid biogenesis in algae

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Nigel Crawford, Ph.D., Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology
Research areas: Plant metabolism of nitrate and how it regulates growth using microarray and mutant analyses in Arabidopsis; identifying genes involved in nitrate uptake, reduction and regulation; and identifying genes that regulate nitric oxide accumulation and affect plant development and stress responses

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Rachel Dutton, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Molecular Biology
Research areas: Use of microbial communities from cheese as models due to their simplicity, culturability, and experimental tractability.

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Mark Estelle, Ph.D. Distinguished Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology
Research areas: Using the genetically tractable plant Arabidopsis thaliana to identify and characterize auxin response pathways and studying the mechanism SCFTIR1 action and the role of the complex in various aspects of plant growth.

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James W. Golden, Ph.D., Professor of Molecular Biology
Research areas: Dr. Golden is one of the leading scientists investigating the genetics and molecular biology of nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria and metabolic engineering of cyanobacteria for the production of biofuels.

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susan golden
Susan Golden, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Molecular Biology

Research areas: Cyanobacterial genetics and molecular biology, including investigations into light-activated gene expression, development of the photosynthetic apparatus, circadian-regulated gene expression, and high-value bioproduct production

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Jeff Hasty, Ph.D., Professor of Molecular Biology/Bioengineering
Research areas: Construction and utilization of synthetic gene circuits for dissecting, analyzing, and controlling the dynamical interactions involved in gene regulation

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Alisa Huffaker

Alisa Huffaker, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Molecular Biology/Bioengineering
Research areas: Signal transduction regulating plant innate immunity; biosynthesis and regulation of plant secondary metabolites.

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Stephen Mayfield, Ph.D., Professor of Molecular Biology and John Dove Isaacs Chair of Natural Philosophy
Director, SD-CAB
Research areas: Gene regulation in eukaryotic algae and the use of this alga for the production of human therapeutic proteins and as a platform for biofuel production. He is also developing molecular tools for algal genetic transformation.

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Eric Schmelz, Ph.D., Professor of Biological Sciences
Research areas: Identification of molecular mechanisms that mediate plant innate immunity against insect and pathogen attack; this includes the biosynthesis and action of exogenous elicitors, inducible biochemicals and signals associated with defense in maize.

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Julian Schroeder, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology and Novartis Torrey Mesa Institute Chair in Plant Science
Research areas: Identifying the basic molecular mechanisms by which plants respond to and mount resistance to "abiotic" environmental stresses.

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j. shurin

Jonathan Shurin, Ph.D., Professor of Ecology, Behavior and Evolution
Research areas: Control of productivity and diversity in algal communities by zooplankton consumers and the supply of limiting nutrients, the flow of energy and materials from algae to their natural enemies and the factors that allow grazers to exert strong impact on their resources or new species to invade communities. 

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Laurie Smith, Ph.D., Professor, Section of Cell and Developmental Biology, UCSD

Research areas: Asymmetric cell division and maize proteome analysis and specialties are TANGLED, schematic of cytokinesis in a somatic plant cell and stomatal development in wild type and pan mutant maize.

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Martin Yanofsky, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor and Chair of Cell and Developmental Biology
Research areas: The genes involved in fruit development in Arabidopsis thaliana including distinct tissue types: the valves, replum, and valve margin.

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Yunde Zhao, Ph.D., Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology
Research areas: The plant hormone auxin biosynthesis and its regulation, and the roles of auxin in axillary meristem development and plant organogenesis.  

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UC San Diego Physical Sciences


Mike Burkart, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Research areas: The Burkart laboratory follows a general program of developing systems for the study of natural product regulation and production.

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Joe Noel, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Research areas: Evolutionary change in proteins and protein networks particularly enzymes and metabolic pathways underlying the emergence and rapid expansion of chemical diversity in living systems

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Robert "Skip" Pomeroy, Ph.D., LSOE of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Research areas: application of analytical chemistry to samples relating to environmental, forensic and materials science, and the production of renewable biofuels

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UC San Diego Engineering


Vineet Bafna, Ph.D., Professor of Computer Science
Research areas: Bioinformatics, computational proteomics, algorithms for genetics, and genomics.


Bernhard O. Palsson, Ph.D., Galetti Professor of Bioengineering and Adjunct Professor of Medicine
Research areas: Reconstruction of genome-scale biochemical reaction networks, and the development of mathematical analysis procedures for genome-scale models with current emphasis on cellular metabolism and transcriptional regulation in E. coli, yeast, and algae


Pavel Pevzner, Ph.D., Ronald R. Taylor Professor of Computer Science
Research areas: Discovery of subtle regulatory patterns in DNA sequences (motif finding), production of algorithms to assemble DNA fragments and for genome rearrangement analysis. Pevzner actively collaborates with biologists on studying rearrangements in human, mouse, cat, and cow genome sequences, and on prediction of regulatory motifs.

UC San Diego Social Sciences and Economics


Richard Carson, Ph.D., Professor of Economics
Research areas: Environmental valuation, Climate change, Environment and development, Fisheries

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Fonna Forman, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Political Science
Research areas: Theories and practices of global justice as they manifest at local and regional scales, and the role of civic participation in strategies of equitable urbanization

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Joshua Graff Zivin, Ph.D., Professor of Economics
Research areas: The relationship between the environment, health, and human capital formation, with a particular eye towards behavioral responses to mitigate adverse environmental consequences

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Theodore Groves, Ph.D., Professor of Economics
Research areas: Environmental economics, Mechanism design, Public finance

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Mark Jacobsen, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Economics
Research areas: Environmental regulation of transportation and the automobile industry and optimal environmental policy in the context of the broader economy

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Vish Krishnan, Sc. D., Professor and Sheryl and Harvey White Endowed Chair

Research areas: Innovation, New Product Development, Operations Management, Science & Technology Commercialization

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Scripps Institution of Oceanography

andrew Allen

Andrew Allen, Ph.D. Joint Associate Professor of Microbial and Environmental Genomics Department J. Craig Venter Institute and Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Research areas: Ecological and functional genomics of marine microalgae, particularly diatoms; evolution and regulation of carbon, nitrogen and micronutrient metabolism; cell signaling mechanisms; biotechnology; microbial oceanography and marine carbon and nitrogen cycle; bioinformatics and comparative genomics.



Eric Allen, Ph,D., Associate Professor of Marine Biology and Molecular Biology
Research areas: Environmental genomics and microbial oceanography and ecology, with an emphasis on the genetic structure of microbial populations. He also investigates the molecular genetics and ecological physiology of unique marine source lipids (e.g., microbial omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids).

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Bianca Brahamsha, Ph.D., Research Biologist
Research areas: Molecular analysis of the physiology of marine cyanobacteria of the genus Synechococcus, and isolation of new algal species for biofuel production

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William Gerwick, Ph.D., Professor of Oceanography and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Research areas: Biosynthesis of marine natural products and biofuel production by cultured marine microalgae. He also works on molecular genetics of cyanobacterial natural products biosynthesis and on the molecular evolution of natural product pathways in marine cyanobacteria.

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Dominick Mendola

Dominick Mendola, Ph.D. Senior Engineer
Research Areas: physiological growth dynamics of microalgae; conceptualization, design and engineering of aquaculture systems for the high yield production of micro- and macro-algal biofuels in outdoor raceways, greenhouses, and indoor photobioreactors


B. Greg Mitchell, Ph.D., Research Professor
Research areas: Algae commercial applications, including quantification of yields of bioenergy molecules in the light-temperature-nutrient matrix that regulates algal physiology. He also uses numerical modeling of algal growth and biomass yields for designing photobioreactors that optimize commercial yields.

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Brian Palenik, Ph.D., Professor of Marine Biology
Research areas: Ecology, physiology, and genomics of marine microalgae focusing on cyanobacteria, small green algae such as Ostreococcus, and the prymensiophyte Emiliania huxleyi. He is working to bring novel species from these groups into laboratory culture for biofuel production.

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The Salk Institute for Biological Studies


Wolfgang Busch, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology
Research areas: Systems genetics of root growth. Uses genetics, genomics and systems biology to identify and understand genetic and molecular networks regulating root growth responses and adaptation to the environment

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Joanne Chory, Ph.D., Professor of Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator
Research areas: Genetic, genomic and biochemical approaches in the reference plant, Arabidopsis, to identify components of the phototransduction pathways, with emphasis placed on the events mediated through a family of red/far-red-light-absorbing receptors

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Joseph R. Ecker, Ph.D., Professor of Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Investigator
Research areas: Sequenced the genome of Arabidopsis thaliana, a model organism for the study of plant genetics; how the gaseous hormone ethylene regulates processes as fruit ripening and how plants respond to pathogenic organisms

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Julie Law, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology and Hearst Foundation Development Chair
Research areas: Uses Arabidopsis plants to study how epigenetic modifications are recognized and translated into the desired response by the cell, focusing on the characterization of newly identified chromatin binding proteins

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Philip Godfrey, Management Services Officer
Phone: (858) 822-4278


Heide Trimble, Fund Manager
Phone: (858) 246-1980

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