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Katayoon Dehesh

Institute for Integrative Genome Biology, US

Katie Dehesh is the Director of UCR’s Institute of Integrative Genome Biology, which fosters interdisciplinary research collaborations among genomics scientists across campus to pioneer solutions for hunger, disease, and environmental sustainability. A Professor of Molecular Biochemistry, Dr. Dehesh is the Ernst and Helen Leibacher Endowed Chair in Botany and Plant Sciences. Her research examines the molecular and biochemical pathways that plants use to signal stress by utilizing technology like mass spectrometry to identify the chemical fingerprints that cellular processes leave behind. Through the course of this research, Dr. Dehesh has located an evolutionarily conserved pathway present in plants, bacteria, and parasites, which provides a platform for the development and testing of novel drugs for conditions like malaria, without toxicity to humans. Dr. Dehesh’s academic background includes a Bachelor of Science in Biology at Iran’s Pahlavi University, followed by a doctorate in plant physiology and biochemistry at the University of Sussex in England. She completed post-doctoral studies in Germany and at Berkeley, as well as worked as a Principle Research Scientist at Calgene/Monsanto before joining the UC Davis faculty as a full Professor in 2002. Dr. Dehesh remained at Davis until moving to UCR in July 2016. She was recently elected to the German National Academy of Sciences, the Leopoldina, for which she will be inducted at a ceremony in Germany in May.

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