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About Magdalena Bezanilla

Research Interests:
My research program focuses on plant cells, which unlike many other eukaryotic cells are not motile. Key to plant development is the underlying architecture of individual cells, which at the molecular level is controlled by proteins of the cytoskeleton. The plant cytoskeleton consists of two filamentous networks, microtubules and actin, and their associated proteins. The actin cytoskeleton is required for a highly polarized form of growth in plant cells known as tip growth. The research in my lab focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying tip growth. These mechanisms bear upon cell development in an evolutionarily wide range of plants. My lab has pioneered the use of an emerging model system, the moss Physcomitrella patens, to study tip growth. Our studies in P. patens to date have uncovered key players required for proper actin dynamics and organization. However many outstanding questions remain. Current studies in the lab aim to address these fundamental questions.


Present Associate Professor, Department of Biology, College of Natural Sciences, University of Massachusetts Amherst


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Honors and Awards

  • 2014 Kavli Frontiers Fellow, Kavli Foundation and the United States Nationsl Academy of Sciences

Contact Information

122A Morril III South
611 North Pleasant Street
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Amherst, MA 01003
Tel: 413-545-2885


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