Ursula Goodenough PhD is Professor of Biology Emerita at Washington University. She earned her BA at Barnard College and her PhD at Harvard University. She was Assistant and Associate Professor at Harvard before moving to Washington University. She served as President of the American Society for Cell Biology, is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Microbiology, and the American Society for Cell Biology, and a Member of the National Academy of Sciences. She received a Doctor of Letters Honoris Causa from the Meadville School of Theology.

Research Interests

Dr. Goodenough’s research has focused on the unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. She established correlations between thylakoid organization and photosynthetic capacity, defined organizational features of its ciliary axonemes, analyzed the assembly of its cell walls, and characterized its capacity to produce triacylglycerides as putative biodiesel precursors. Most research entailed analysis of its life cycle using mutant strains, (electron) microscopy, and molecular genetics. Its sexual agglutinins were purified and sequenced; its mode of sexual signaling via cAMP was established; an adhesin involved in gametic fusion was identified and sequenced; its mating-type locus was cloned and extensively analyzed; the gene that establishes mating type was identified and characterized; a pair of homeoproteins was shown to initiate development of the zygote; and genes involved in the transmission of chloroplast DNA were identified and characterized.

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Primary Section

Section 25: Plant Biology