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Department of Botany and Plant Pathology
Courtesy Appointment, Department of Biological Sciences

LILY 2-353

Associated website(s):





Molecular genetics, live cell imaging, biochemistry, computational modeling of plant cell morphogenesis


Dan Szymanski’s lab is trying to understand how protein complexes can function across wide spatial scales to control plant morphology. His research combines forward genetics, biochemistry, and quantitative live cell imaging. Recently, in collaborations with materials scientists and computational biologists, his team is learning how plant cells dynamically reorganize the cytoskeleton and the cell wall to program cell morphogenesis. Target traits for genetic improvement are cotton fiber quality and leaf anatomy. Another major project in the lab is the development and use of proteomic methods for systems level analyses of protein complex composition and dynamics.


University of Illinois                                      Ph.D.               1995                Plant Biology
University of Michigan                                   B.S.                 1989                Natural Resources

Professional Appointments

2010–              Professor, Purdue University, Departments of Botany and Plant Pathology, Agronomy
2009–              Adjunct Faculty, Purdue University, Biological Sciences
2004-2010       Associate Professor, Purdue University, Department of Agronomy
1999-2004       Assistant Professor, Purdue University, Department of Agronomy
1995-1999       Research Associate, University of Minnesota, Genetics and Cell Biology
1990-1995       Research Assistant, University of Illinois, Department of Plant Biology

Honors and Awards

2019                                        McMasters Fellowship CSIRO Australia
2017                                        Elected Fellow of the American Society of Plant Biologists
2009, 2010, 2011-2014           NSF review panelist
2013, 2014                              NASA Space Biology panelist
2010, 2011, 2012                    Purdue Millionaire Grant Award
2008-2010                               Chair, PULSe Graduate Program
2009                                        Purdue College of Agriculture Research Award
2008                                        Purdue International Travel Award
2006                                        Study in a Second Discipline, Purdue University
1998-1999                               NSF Cytoskeleton Training Grant Fellowship
1998                                        3-D Microscopy of Living Cells Course Study Award
1995                                        NSF Integrative Research in Plant Biology Fellowship
1994                                        Francis M. and Harlie M. Clark Research Support Grant
1992-1993                               Cell and Molecular Biology Training Grant Fellowship
1990-1992                               McKnight Fellowship in Plant Biology

Professional Activities

Society Membership:
American Association for the Advancement of Science
American Society of Cell Biology
American Society of Plant Biology
Associate Editor:
Plant Physiology
Frontiers in Plant Cell Biology

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