Elliot Meyerowitz is the George Beadle Professor of Biology, and a Howard Hughes Medical Investigator at the California Institute of Technology, where he has been on the faculty since 1980. Prior to joining the Caltech faculty he obtained an undergraduate degree in Biology from Columbia University, and graduate degrees in Biology from Yale University, following which he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Stanford University School of Medicine. From 2000 to 2010 he was Chair of the Caltech Division of Biology. In 2011 and 2012, while on leave from Caltech, he served as the Inaugural Director of the Sainsbury Laboratory at the University of Cambridge, and as Professor of Plant Morphodynamics at Cambridge.

Research Interests

The Meyerowitz laboratory studies the development of Arabidopsis thaliana, a widely used plant model system that his laboratory and others popularized beginning in the early 1980s. After establishing molecular cloning for this plant, they identified and cloned numerous flower development genes, leading to the "ABC Model" of floral organ specification. They also cloned the receptors for the plant hormone ethylene, the first cloned plant hormone receptors, and identified the plant peptide hormone signaling system. Current studies concentrate on the role of mechanical signaling in plant development, and on the interactions between the peptide signaling system and hormone action in plant stem cells at the shoot apex. Throughout this work, the Meyerowitz laboratory and a group of international collaborators has developed what they term "Computational Morphodynamics," a combined experimental and computational approach to generation and testing of explicit hypotheses for plant development. This approach has led to the understanding of the mechanism by which plants create phyllotactic and other previously mysterious developmental patterns, as well as to the recognition of novel mechanisms for developmental pattern formation.

Membership Type


Election Year


Primary Section

Section 25: Plant Biology

Secondary Section

Section 26: Genetics