Chief Scientific Officer
Tom is a respected leader in photosynthesis research and an expert in photosynthetic differentiation, transcriptomics, and C4 model grass systems. These foci, in conjunction with his expertise in plant biology and cereal crop genomics, are leading to significant advances in gene discovery. Tom joined the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in 2012, where he maintains his role as a faculty member and as the Director of the Enterprise Institute for Renewable Fuels. The work he is leading in this Institute is complementing ongoing research and developments for second generation lignocellulosic feedstocks. His research is being applied to improve photosynthetic efficiency in numerous crops, resulting in yield increases that will contribute to the agriculture, industrial, and energy sectors. Tom is also part of an international consortium funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to engineer C4 traits into C3 grasses. In addition, he maintains an Adjunct faculty role in the Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, and is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Missouri. Prior to joining the Danforth Center, Tom was a faculty member at the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research at Cornell University, and held adjunct assignments within Cornell’s Department of Plant Biology and Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics. Tom has been published in numerous top journals and consults routinely with leading companies in the agbiotech industry. He holds a B.S. in Molecular Biology from The University of Connecticut and obtained his Ph.D. from Yale University, where he studied the epigenetic regulation of transposons in maize. Tom completed his postdoctoral studies at the University of Oxford, UK as a David Phillips Fellow.
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