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Women & Science shines spotlight on plant biology

Salk Women & Science

The audience shares a laugh at the third annual Salk Women & Science event.

The theme was plant biology on March 19, when more than 70 female business and community leaders gathered for the Institute's third Women & Science event. Showcasing research being conducted by female Salk faculty, the afternoon program was a rare opportunity for attendees to learn about discoveries that may shape the future of food and fuel production.

Following a welcome by Catherine Rivier, professor emerita of the Clayton Foundation Laboratories for Peptide Biology, Joanne Chory, professor and director of the Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology Laboratory, gave a talk titled "Seven billion and counting: How do we feed and fuel the planet?" In addition to discussing her lab's research on plants' signaling pathways, which enable them to detect changes in sunlight, she spoke about her team's efforts to discover the molecular triggers that control plant growth, which has the potential to vastly improve agriculture yields.

Julie Law, a new assistant professor in the Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology Laboratory, then described her work to elucidate the mechanisms by which epigenetic modifications are translated into stable expressions—an area of plant biology that is poorly understood and that impacts gene regulation, imprinting, genome activity and development.

The 2013 Women & Science program is generously underwritten by Union Bank. For more information on the Women & Science program, contact Betsy Reis, director of donor relations, at 858.453.4100 x1426 or by email at