People Behind the Science Podcast - Stories from Scientists about Science, Life, Research, and Science Careers
524: Researching How Plant Cells Sense and Respond to Internal Forces - Dr. Elizabeth Haswell
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Dr. Elizabeth Haswell is a Professor of Biology at Washington University in St. Louis and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)-Simons Faculty Scholar. Liz’s research examines how the molecules, cells, and tissues within plants can sense and respond to forces. In particular, she studies a type of proteins that is really sensitive to mechanical signals called mechanosensitive ion channels. Liz is working to understand how these mechanosensitive ion channels sense and respond to internal forces within plant cells, such as turgor pressure (i.e. the water pressure within cells). In her free time, Liz enjoys traveling, hiking, hanging out with her family, and reading. She also co-hosts a plant biology podcast called The Taproot. She received her B.S. degree in biochemistry from the University of Washington and her Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of California, San Francisco. Afterwards, Liz conducted postdoctoral research at the California Institute of Technology before joining the faculty at Washington University in St. Louis where she remains today. In addition to being named an HHMI-Simons Faculty Scholar, Liz received a National Science Foundation Early Faculty Career Development (CAREER) Award. In our interview she shares more about her life and science.