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About IPG

dna leafThe Interdisciplinary Plant Group (IPG) is a community of MU faculty, students, postdoctoral fellows, and professionals who are pursuing novel, creative, and transformative ideas in the field of plant biology. Established in 1981, the IPG seeks to encourage interdisciplinary cooperation between scientists engaged in plant molecular biology, physiology, biochemistry, genetics, biotechnology, evolution, ecology, and computer science. Our aim in integrating these disciplines is to stimulate joint research projects that will enhance our understanding of how plants grow and develop in changing environments.

This mission is accomplished by providing a supportive and flexible environment that allows scientists to explore research that transcends traditional departmental boundaries, by facilitating the sharing of ideas and resources among faculty members and students, and by creating opportunities for collaboration through interdisciplinary meetings, seminars, and an annual symposium.

The IPG is a community of 65 faculty-led research teams representing three colleges - Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, Arts and Science, and Engineering - as well as the School of Medicine and the USDA-ARS Plant Genetics Research Unit. Within these units, seven academic divisions/departments are actively engaged in the IPG: Biochemistry, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Computer Science, Natural Resources, Health Management and Informatics, and Plant Sciences. Several members of the IPG hold joint appointments with the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center (DDPSC) in St. Louis, Missouri.

The overarching research theme of the Interdisciplinary Plant Group focuses on understanding how plants respond to changing environments. Within this theme, IPG research projects can be grouped by studies that focus on genetic diversity, on developmental mechanisms, and on biotic and abiotic interactions.

The diversity of approaches being pursued and plants being studied as well as the interactive nature of the group enhance the IPG's opportunity to design unique solutions to current problems as well as pressing problems yet to be recognized. As a part of the Food for the 21st Century Program at the University of Missouri, one of the goals of the IPG is to generate the knowledge base needed to meet the increasing needs for food, fiber, and health for the future.

The IPG is recognized as one of the top plant research and training programs in the nation. In May 2008, a Blue Ribbon Team of scientists concluded that, "using any metric of success, the IPG is an exceptional program of research excellence ... that has succeeded in promoting excellence in research and teaching at MU."

sharpThis site briefly describes the environment created by this interactive group of researchers as well as research summaries of each faculty member of the Interdisciplinary Plant Group. While we can be descriptive, we cannot convey the energy and the excitement that cutting-edge research generates. For that special feeling, you will have to come and witness it in action. This is our invitation to you to be a part of an incredible revolution.

Robert Sharp
Director, Interdisciplinary Plant Group (IPG)


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