Dear Collegues and Students,

2023 was a year of remarkable accomplishments for the Center for Plant Science Innovation, marked by both groundbreaking research and strategic advancements. Despite a budget crisis, we navigated the year with determination and resourcefulness, emerging stronger and more prepared for the future. PSI researchers exceeded expectations, generating over 50 publications in top journals like Nature Plants, Genome Biology, and Science Advances. Similarly, we competed successfully for over $6.4 million of new competitive federal research funding. These prolific outputs reflect the depth and dedication of our researchers at every level.

Recognizing the vital role of the Plant Transformation Core Research Facility, we hosted a renowned seminar series featuring eight leading transformation experts, fostering knowledge exchange and professional development. We also noted the increasing importance of climate resilience, and the theme of our 2023 Symposium was Plant Science and Climate Resilience. It brought together diverse perspectives from top-tier speakers, and left us hopeful for the promises that come from the wide diversity of potential solutions.

Finally, the Center demonstrated its commitment to the next generation of scientists by providing dedicated funding for the Complex Biosystems Integrated Plant Biology PhD program, advertising two Heuermann Pathway to Independence postdoctoral positions, and hosting our Research and Extension Experiences for Undergraduates. We continue to partner with current trainees as the Collective Research Organization of Plant Scientists (CROPS), who help us to provide appropriate professional development opportunities. We also celebrated the achievements of our trainees, many of whom received prestigious national and local awards, or moved on to more permanent scientific positions.

As we embark on 2024, we are energized by a clear vision for the future. The research retreat will provide space for strategic planning and collaboration. We eagerly welcome the hiring process for a new PTCRF Director and anticipate the arrival of other new faculty. Finalizing the Heuermann postdoctoral positions will further strengthen our trainee pipeline, ensuring a continuous flow of talent. Ultimately, we remain committed to building upon our successes, navigating current challenges, and solidifying the Center's position as a global leader in plant science innovation.

Thank you to our outstanding faculty, staff, and students for their unwavering dedication and resilience. Together, we will continue to push the boundaries of plant science research, creating a more sustainable and resilient future for all.


— Dr. Edgar Cahoon, Director

Dr. Cahoon