Biochemist Selected as Editor­-in-Chief of Journal in Plant Biology

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Sabeeha Merchant Photo

Professor Sabeeha Merchant has been selected as editor-in-chief of The Plant Cell, the premier research journal in plant biology.

UCLA Today

(by Stuart Wolpert)

Professor Sabeeha Merchant, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, will serve as editor-in-chief for five years, starting Jan. 1, 2015. Founded by UCLA life scientist Bob Goldberg, The Plant Cell is published by the nonprofit American Society of Plant Biologists. Merchant is internationally renowned for developing the concepts of metal sparing and recycling in biology through her analysis of nutritional copper and iron signaling in Chlamydomonas, a tiny but complex green alga. Working with more than 100 scientists worldwide, Merchant was the lead author of a “dictionary” of its approximately 15,000 genes, published in the journal Science Oct. 12, 2007. Sabeeha Merchant Photo 2

Sabeeha Merchant (Credit: Reed Hutchinson/UCLA)

Her research has influenced thinking in fields from biogeochemistry and biological oceanography to agriculture and human nutrition. She has also made major discoveries concerning photosynthesis. Merchant’s laboratory is presently engaged in various environmental genomic projects related to extreme environments, including Arctic ice and acid lakes, as well as analysis of public large scale sequence datasets. Merchant’s many honors include a Searle Scholars Award, an NIH Research Career Development Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Gilbert Morgan Smith Medal of the National Academy of Sciences, and the Kettering Award from the ASPB, among many others. She has been awarded research grants from the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Air Force Office of Science Research. For more on Merchant, visit her website.