Member Profile

Craig Pikaard

PhD-granting university/college
Full Professor
Indiana University
Bloomington, Indiana, USA

Professor Craig Pikaard earned a B.S. degree from the Pennsylvania State University, a PhD from Purdue University, and conducted postdoctoral research at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. Craig joined the faculty of Washington University in St. Louis in 1990 and rose to the rank of full professor in the Biology Department, including stints as the Director of the Plant Biology PhD Program and of the Monsanto-Washington University Collaborative Research Program. Professor Pikaard moved to Indiana University in 2009, where he holds the Carlos O. Miller Chair of Plant Growth and Development in the Departments of Biology and Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry.

The Pikaard laboratory is known for its work on ribosomal RNA gene organization and expression, RNA polymerase I transcription, and RNA-mediated gene silencing. One focus is the epigenetic phenomenon known as nucleolar dominance, which describes the expression of only one parental set of rRNA genes in a genetic hybrid.  A second focus concerns DNA-dependent RNA Polymerases IV and V, which are plant-specific enzymes involved in small RNA-mediated DNA methylation and gene silencing. Professor Pikaard has co-organized numerous scientific conferences and was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2008.

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