WALII operates as a virtual research institute that brings together scientists and trainees from nine institutions across the United States to collaborate and cross-train on nine major projects. Each project is carried out by labs at 3-7 institutions, led by a
Co-PI from different institutes, and uses a wide range of tools, biological systems, and disciplines.
Director - Plant Resilience Institute, Michigan State University
Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Plant Biology, and Plant, Soil, and Microbes, Michigan State University
theme 1: surviving the solid state
Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, University of California, Merced
Project: Is glass strength associated with protective capacity?
Professor of Botany, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Project: How do cellular structures change during dehydration to solid-state?
THEME 1 TEAM MEMBERS
Current Team Members
theme 2: rehydration and recovery
Supervisory Plant Physiologist, USDA-National Laboratory for Genetic Resources Preservation
Assistant Professor of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences, Michigan State University
Project: What are the genetic and metabolic milestones of recovery from desiccation?
Assistant Professor of Biology, California State University Channel Islands
Project: How does partial re-hydration affect desiccation tolerance?
THEME 2 TEAM MEMBERS
Current Team Members
theme 3: molecular engineering
Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Washington University in St. Louis
Project: Rational design of de novo proteins for desiccation tolerance in cells and organisms
Assistant Professor of Molecular and Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine
Investigator at Duncan Neurological Research Institute, Texas Children’s Hospital
Project: Molecular rules of membraneless organelle water responsiveness
THEME 3 team members
theme 4: evolutionary dynamics
Assistant Professor of Horticulture, Michigan State University
Project: Identify conserved and lineage-specific molecular responses to anhydrobiosis
Assistant Professor of Global Change Biology, University of California Berkeley
Freeman Hrabowski Scholar, Howard Hugues Medical Institutes (HHMI)
Project: Identify genetic determinants underlying desiccation tolerance by mining natural variation in seed germination across A. thaliana populations
Postdoctoral Fellow, Michigan State University
Project: Developing the resurrection grass Microchloa caffra as a new system for evolutionary genetics of desiccation tolerance