My fascination, for as long as I can remember, has been with ‘shapes’. My research career has thus evolved around the dissection of mechanisms underlying shape development, or morphogenesis, in plants. In 1992, after earning a Ph.D. in Botany from India I moved to the Biological Research Center, Szeged, Hungary, to investigate the molecular basis of differentiation in higher plants. Soon after I was recruited into the burgeoning field of Arabidopsis Molecular Genetics by Dr. Csaba Koncz and joined the Max-Planck Institute, Cologne, Germany under the directorship of Prof. Jeff Schell. In this august institution, I contributed, as a cell-biologist, to the team effort that led to the molecular-genetic recognition of Brassinosteroids, a group of steroidal hormones in higher plants. My time at the MPI also coincided with the discovery of the Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) and I was part of one of the first teams to demonstrate GFP applicability for plant research. In 1997 my research took a new direction under Prof. Nam-Hai Chua who introduced me to the delights of the plant cytoskeleton and its role in plant morphogenesis. Three years later I had the opportunity to work at another renowned plant laboratory, the ZMBP at the Tuebingen University, Germany, under Prof. Gerd Juergens. A research-intensive period with Prof. Martin Hülskamp followed at the University of Cologne, Germany. This period resulted in my cloning and characterization of several new proteins including the ARP2/3 complex and EB1-like proteins from plants. In 2003 I came to Canada and joined the University of Guelph in 2004 at the Department of Plant Agriculture. In 2006 I moved to the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, College of Biological Science,University of Guelph.
Associate Professor: Department of Molecular & Cellular Biology, University of Guelph.
Research in my laboratory is funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), CFI, MRI, Ontario, and The Keefers foundation, Guelph. An Early Researcher Award by the Ministry of Research and Innovation, Ontario, in July 2008 has provided special funds for recruiting researchers. My work focuses on understanding the Cellular and Molecular basis of plant morphogenesis. This involves live multi-colour imaging of plants with a heavy emphasis on the cytoskeleton and its regulatory proteins, as well as dissection of plant-environment interactions. For more information check the Research Pages.
» Science Careers Weekly by VROC. Episode 34: Molecular and Cellular Biologist: Aired: Jan. 3, 2012. http://vimeo.com/36788891 - M. McMillan.
» Discovery Channel's Weird or What? "Human Popsicle" episode. Aired: May 19, 2010.
» Faculty of 1000: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=io6aptwUkfk
» Plant by numbers: Article in "At Guelph" [PDF] by Andrew Vowles. Photograph: Martin Schwalbe
» Publications: For a complete list of Research Contributions and publications please visit the Publications page.