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2024 Symposium


Monday, MAY 20

All activities will be held in the Ballroom at MSU Union - unless specified

SESSION I: From Genomes and Metabolism To Resilient Plants

Time Speaker Topic
9:00 -
Robin Buell,
University of Georgia
Genome-to-pathway discovery of specialized metabolism using single cell multi-omics
Sue Rhee,
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology/
Plant Resilience Institute, MSU
Cell biology Meets Metabolism: Knowledge Gaps and Opportunities in Metabolic Cell Biology in Advancing Plant Science and Biotechnology
Isaiah Kaufman
(student, research)
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, MSU
Maximizing protein expression through codon optimization: Is more GC always better?
10:50 Coffee Break

SESSION II: Agriculture for Sustainable Futures

Time Speaker Topic
11:10 -
Cholani Weebadde,
Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences, MSU
Sustainable Agriculture for Better Health; Role of Plant Breeding and Biotechnology
Roselane Kithan-Lundquist
(student, research)
Microbial and Molecular Genetics, MSU
Dynamics of the host microbiome, PTI‐associated defense gene expression, and decay in post‐harvest apple (Malus x domestica) fruit
12:10 Lunch

SESSION III: Synthetic Biology in Plants and Other Organisms

Time Speaker Topic
1:30 -
Tim Whitehead,
University of Colorado-Boulder
Designed chemical control of microbes, animals, and plants
Gaurav Moghe,
Cornell University
Towards predicting the functions and mapping the evolution of plant enzymes
2:55 Coffee Break

SESSION IV: Danny Schnell Memorial Session on Compartmentalization In Photosynthetic Organisms

Time Speaker Topic
3:15 -
Ken Keegstra,
Danny's contributions to the field
Hsou-min Li,
Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB) in Academia Sinica
Protein import into plastids: better signals and a better bridge
George Kusi-Appah
(student, research)
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, MSU
Towards a mechanistic understanding of CCM1 dependent regulation of CO2-responsive genes in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii
Rees Rillema
(student, research)
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, MSU
Using novel tools to determine carboxysome accessory components contributions to carbon fixation and oxygen sensitivity
4:40 End of day remarks - Rob Last

4:50 Poster Session, Ballroom, MSU Union

6:00 Dinner, Ballroom, MSU Union


All activities will be held in the Ballroom at MSU Union - unless specified

Careers in Biotechnology and Beyond

Time Speaker Topic
9:00 -
Bryan Leong,
Corteva Agriscience
Engineering miniature SpaCas12f1 genome editing potential
Kirsten Benjamin,
Pivot Bio
Replacement of nitrogen fertilizer with gene-edited microbial products for cereal crops
  MacKenzie Jacobs
(student, internship)
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, MSU
Inspiring the Next Generation of Scientists: Insights from my Internship at the MSU 4-H Children's Gardens
10:40 Coffee Break
11:00 - 12:20 Panel discussion I:
Bryan Leong, Gaurav Moghe,  Cholani Weebadde, Daniela Strenkert
Being competitive for your job search and early career positions
Panel discussion II:
Kirsten Benjamin, Tim Whitehead, Robin Buell, Sue Rhee
Navigating a productive and enjoyable career
12:20 Closing remarks - Jyothi Kumar