​Plant and Microbial Biosciences

Graduate Student Coordinator:  S​honda Dukes​

Faculty Co-Directors: Ram Dixit, Ph.D.​ and Hani Zaher, Ph.D.​

 ​GRE is optional for this program

The Graduate Program in Plant and Microbial Biosciences focuses on the use of prokaryotes, eukaryotic microbes, mosses and vascular plants as experimental organisms. Washington University’s highly integrated graduate program and diverse faculty provide an ideal environment in which to address fundamental and applied biological problems. PMB is fully integrated with the eleven other graduate programs that comprise the Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences and collaboration is the norm rather than the exception at Washington University. In particular, faculty in PMB maintain close ties with programs in Molecular Microbiology and Pathogenesis, Genetics and Genomics, Biochemistry, and Molecular Cell Biology.

Research in PMB covers a diverse array of topics including: 

  • Interactions between plants, microbes, and their environment
  • Assembly and regulation of membrane-associated complexes
  • Cytoskeletal organization and regulation
  • Cell morphology and cell division
  • Structural biology and biochemistry
  • Cell and organelle size
  • Metabolic engineering of natural products, biomaterials, and biofuels
  • Microbial ecology and evolution
  • Biogeochemical cycles and earth history
  • Astrobiology

The Department of Biology addresses a wide range of biological questions, across and between the sub-disciplines of biology: from single molecules to systems, and from steady state equilibria to dynamic remodeling over milliseconds to millions of generations. The department also maintains a web site dedicated to The Graduate Training Program in Plant and Microbial Biosciences.
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