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Plant Scientist Brandizzi Named MSU Foundation Professor

Frederica Brandizzi

Michigan State University (MSU) professor of plant science Federica Brandizzi has been named an MSU Foundation Professor.

“This award recognizes Professor Brandizzi’s internationally renowned research for the MSU-Department of Energy Plant Research Laboratory and the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Laboratory,” said MSU Provost June Pierce Youatt. “MSU Foundation Professorships demonstrate the university’s commitment to invest in our top faculty scientists and provide support for their work.”

The title is bestowed by MSU, with support from the MSU Foundation. Brandizzi will receive supplemental research support over five years and hold the MSU Foundation Professor designation permanently.

“Federica’s lab focuses on the key biological questions related to the plant secretory pathway,” said R. James Kirkpatrick, dean of the College of Natural Science. “Her work has provided us with a better understanding of mechanisms that govern the steps of secretion in plants, and may ultimately enable us to regulate cell secretion and acquire genetic tools that could lead to better management of natural resources.”

According to Stephen Hsu, vice president for Research and Graduate Studies, Brandizzi’s work has reinforced MSU’s leadership in the plant science community. “One example of Federica’s influence is that she received a grant from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration a few years ago to help them study how plants and humans can adapt to handle the stress of long-term space missions.”

Brandizzi, who joined MSU in 2006, has published extensively on the role of plant cell endomembranes in response to stress – both natural stress, such as the normal growth process, and environmental stress. “Plants are major players in the biotechnology boom and hold great promise for production of a wide range of compounds,” she said. “If we are to make best use of plants as living factories, we must understand the mechanics of the production process.”

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