• GRADUATE PROGRAM
    Pursue a Ph.D. in the Best Graduate Program in Plant Sciences!
  • PMCB Workshop
    Our annual retreat to network with invited speakers,
    colleagues, students and post-docs.
  • PMCB Outreach
    We train our students to be effective science
    communicators and promote positive change.
  • PMCB Job Placement
    Our graduates have secured excellent jobs in academia, industry and
    non-profit sectors.
  • PMCB Students
    Join our close-knit and diverse group of students who
    form a vibrant and supportive learning community.

Why PMCB?

The Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology (PMCB) Graduate Program is one of the most comprehensive graduate programs in Plant Sciences. Our success is a result of our interdisciplinary emphasis, award-winning faculty, uniquely collaborative environment, innovation focus and state-of-the-art facilities. Our faculty is deeply committed to help students develop as scientists and compete successfully for the best positions available in plant research. We have a close-knit and diverse group of students who form a vibrant and supportive community. Our students gain an extensive plant sciences knowledge not only by taking specialized courses, developing outstanding bench skills, and sharpening scientific writing skills but also by presenting their research in scientific meetings, publishing manuscripts and creating their own opportunities.

FIRST YEAR ROTATIONS

First year students have the opportunity to rotate through different faculty laboratories and select a major professor by the end of the second semester. Applicants do not need to define a research project before applying.

FULL FINANCIAL SUPPORT

Our Ph.D. students are fully financially supported for the duration of their program, which includes a competitive stipend, medical insurance and a full tuition waiver.

NO TEACHING REQUIREMENT

Our students are not required to teach to receive a stipend so they can focus on research, professional development, and specialized course work. Teaching is available when it fits our students’ goals.

TOP RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES

Our students enjoy the best opportunities for immediate translation of their research results to the field. The research conducted in PMCB has resulted in many new plant cultivars and inventions.

EXCELLENT JOB PLACEMENT

Our graduates have achieved excellent positions in the academic, industry, government, and non-profit sectors. Our 2011-2016 job placement has been 100%.

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA LOCATION

Gainesville’s subtropical climate, year-round outdoor recreational activities, varied cultural resources, attractive educational opportunities and low cost of living make it an exciting place to live and learn.

Interested in joining our fast-paced and innovative program? Great!

PMCB Spotlights

News & Highlights from our faculty, students, and alumni.

Students

  • Angelica Sanclemente


    Angélica Sanclemente

    Angélica (right) was invited to present a talk at the 12th International Society of Plant Anaerobiosis Annual Meeting organized by The University of Copenhagen, in Elsinore, Denmark. Angélica studies the role of NDPK1 between sugar and oxygen and their effects on maize metabolism and sensing. Her abstract can be seen here. Angélica is in Karen Koch’s lab and will be graduating soon



  • Scott Latimer, Peng Liu and Tim Johnson

    Scott (middle), in Gilles Basset’s lab, was awarded a $1,000 first-place award for best presentation during our 2017 PMCB Annual Workshop. Peng (left), in Karen Koch’s lab, and Tim (right), in Thomas Colquhoun’s lab, received each the $500 runners up award. These awards are designed to help our students cover travel expenses to conferences and other scietific and professional development events. The competition is open to all students participating in the workshop, regardless of affiliation.



  • Chris Barbey

    Chris is passionate about public science education and engagement. His ongoing research to improve strawberry flavor and disease resistance has received outstanding reviews. By speaking, writing, tweeting and collaborating in the Talking Biotech Podcast Chris’s efforts have helped educate both farmers and consumers on how science and genetic engineering can improve agriculture, reduce poverty, and help conserve natural resources. Also, together with Kevin Folta, Chris has advised the U.S. House Science Committee on biotechnology and GMOs as related to food safety and labeling.



  • Tim Johnson

    Tim focuses on the biosynthesis and regulation of volatile compounds (fragrances) and other metabolites in fruit, flower and grains. In 2016, Tim published a Phytochemistry paper trying to elucidate why some Lilium flowers produce fragrances often too overpowering for consumers. His work on the genetic basis for biosynthesis has led to collaborations with PMCB faculty including Patrício Muñoz, Karen Koch, and a recent BCM Plant Biology publication with Kevin Folta.

Faculty

  • Kevin Folta


    Kevin Folta

    Dr. Folta excels on communicating science to non-scientific audiences, which is reflected by his numerous science communication awards: 2016 Borlaug CAST Communication and 2017 ASPB Leadership in Science Public Service. His blog Illumination and weekly podcast Talking Biotech discuss the interface between society and science and genetic improvement in agriculture. His lab uses novel genomics approaches to identify genes related to flavor and disease resistance.

  • Karen Koch and student


    Karen Koch

    Dr. Koch received the 2016 Charles Reid Barnes Award, the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) first honor. According to the ASPB award committee “Karen has excelled in research, in the training of students of plant biology, and in service to the Society. Her research on carbohydrate metabolism and sugar signaling is known internationally and her training of plant biology students is legendary.”

  • Svetlana Folimonova


    Svetlana Folimonova

    Svetlana Folimonova was named a University of Florida Research Foundation Professor for 2017-2020 among other 34 faculty members in various UF colleges. This award recognizes faculty with a distinguished record of research and a strong research agenda likely to lead to continuing distinction in their fields. UF believes that by investing in these outstanding faculty the University generates significant return in research discoveries, scholarship and technology transfer.

  • Anna-Lisa Paul and Rob Ferl


    Anna-Lisa Paul & Rob Ferl

    Anna-Lisa Paul and Rob Ferl have been leading the EPEX- Epigenetic Expression projec, a long-term collaborative experiment by UF’s Space Plants Lab http://ufspaceplants.org and NASA. EPEX is designed to test how plants respond to zero gravity and spaceflight environment. Their team is looking deep into how the expression of plant genes responds to life in space and how plant genetic materials help them adapt to this new environment.

Alumni



  • Camila Ribeiro

    Camila, a 2017 alumna, is now a Post-Doctoral Research Associate in Dr. Nian Wang’s lab, UF Citrus Research and Education Center, whose team was awarded $1 million to develop varieties of citrus resistant to citrus greening (Huanglongbing, HLB). Their team was the first to adopt CRISPR technology to modify CsLOB1, the canker susceptibility gene, and then successfully developed canker-resistant citrus. Their goal now is to use the same technology to generate HLB resistant citrus varieties free of foreign DNA that could be immediately commercialized.

  • Patricio Munoz


    Patrício Muñoz

    Patrício, a 2012 graduate, now leads the UF Blueberry Breeding & Genomics Lab as an assistant professor in the Horticultural Sciences Department. His lab develops improved blueberry cultivars and generates relevant genetic and genomic information, methods and strategies that can contribute to industry and breeding programs. From 2013 to 2016 Patrício held the position of Forage Breeding and Genomics Assistant Professor with the UF Agronomy Department.

  • Elton Goncalves


    Elton Gonҫalves

    Elton Gonҫalves, a 2015 alumnus, is an Associate Research Scientist with the New Mexico Consortium, a non-profit research and educational organization between the University of New Mexico and Los Alamos National Laboratory. Elton explores molecular strategies for algal crop protection so these biofuels can show a consistent biomass productivity and be economically feasible. Elton and Dr. Bala Rathinasabapathi found that oil accumulation in algae occurs within three hours of nitrogen being removed, as published in the Planta journal.

  • Cintia Ribeiro


    Cíntia Ribeiro

    Cíntia, a 2014 alumna, holds a renowned Emerging Leader in Science position with Monsanto. Cíntia has shaped her research and work with Matias Kirst in the UF Forest Genomics lab to achieve this much wanted career goal. In 2014 Cíntia was awarded the prestigious Best Doctoral Dissertation by UF/IFAS (Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences).

Learn more about our faculty, alumni, curriculum, courses, and alumni

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