Brian Staskawicz

Director, Sustainable Agriculture

Brian Staskawicz is the Maxine J. Elliot Professor of Plant & Microbial Biology at the University of California, Berkeley, and Director of Sustainable Agriculture at the IGI. Brian is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of The American Phytopathological Society and the American Society for Microbiology. 

Brian completed his undergraduate degree at Bates College, obtained his Master’s in Forest Pathology at Yale University, and studied Plant Pathology for his Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley.

Brian and his colleagues have played a major role in the understanding of infection strategies of plant pathogens and the immune response of plants, including the cloning of the first pathogen effector gene and one of the first plant NOD-like receptors. His work also includes establishing Arabidopsis thaliana as a model organism to study the molecular basis of microbial recognition by plants and genetically dissect defense signaling pathways. 

At the IGI, the Staskawicz lab focuses on understanding the molecular basis of plant-pathogen interactions and immunity, expanding CRISPR-Cas genome editing technology in plants, and engineering disease-resistant and drought-tolerant crops for agricultural sustainability.



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