Benjamin Spears: Plant Physiology First Author

Benjamin Spears, first author of “Class I TCP transcription factor AtTCP8 modulates key brassinosteroid-responsive genes”

Current Position: Assistant Professor- Department of Biological Sciences, Butler University

Education: Postdoctoral associate- University of Missouri, PhD in plant, insect, and microbial sciences- University of Missouri and BA- Grinnell College

Non-Scientific Interests: Board gaming, discing, biking, and bird-watching

Brief bio:

I have a background in plant pathology and immune signaling, my research interests at Butler University have expanded to include phytohormone pathways broadly. We are interested in understanding how plants rapidly and reversibly adjust their gene expression profiles to respond the environment around them, and how clever pathogens may exploit those molecular tools to their own virulent ends. My group uses fluorescence microscopy, genetics, and biochemical approaches to dissect signaling pathways and regulatory mechanisms governing these processes. Our current fascination is the post-translational modification and complex assembly of transcription factors in Arabidopsis and Physcomitrium, and we look forward to exploring TF families in tomato as well.