Professor, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Professor Rob Martienssen leads the plant biology group at CSHL, where he focuses on epigenetic mechanisms that shape and regulate the genome, and their impact on development and inheritance. His work on transposons or "jumping genes" in plants and in fission yeast revealed a link between heterochromatin and RNA interference. His work, along with that of his colleagues, was awarded the “Breakthrough of the Year” by Science magazine in 2002. He has also developed reverse genetics strategies using transposons in maize and Arabidopsis that have become powerful and widely used tools in plant genetics research. He was one of 13 scientists nationwide who was named an HHMI-GBMF Investigator last year.
One of the most famous branches in plant’s evolution is the difference between gymnosperms and angiosperms, which puzzled Darwin.
From a health standpoint there really is not one shred of evidence that genetically modified food has any impact on health other than beneficial.
We’re beginning to find evidence that epigenetics can, in fact, influence the next generation in a way that’s at least partially Lamarckian.