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Remko Offringa appointed Professor in the field of Plant Developmental Genetics

Remko Offringa has been appointed Professor in the field of Plant Developmental Genetics within the Faculty of Science at the Institute of Biology Leiden (IBL) from the 1st of April 2017. Offringa’s research focuses on the role of the plant hormone auxin in controlling plant growth and development, and more recently also how auxin is involved in developmental phase transitions, such as the initiation of embryogenesis or fruit development, or plant ageing.

During his PhD research Offringa established the use of the Agrobacterium vector system for gene targeting in plants. After finishing his PhD, Offringa was appointed Assistant Professor in 1995 at the IBL, and his research focus switched to the role of the plant hormone auxin in development of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. These investigations led to the key discovery that the polarity of the transport of auxin is determined by phosphorylation of the PIN FORMED (PIN) auxin transporters by the plant-specific protein kinase PINOID. This finding, for which Remko Offringa received the C.J. Kok award (2004) and a NWO CW TOP subsidy, formed the basis for one of the main of research topics in his lab, how environmental signals alter plant development by modulating the subcellular localisation of PIN proteins.

From the start of his scientific career, Offringa has been active in teaching, either as lecturer, or as supervisor of BSc- or MSc internship projects. He has published in high impact journals such as Science, Nature and Cell, and has an extensive national and international network in both academia and industry, amongst which collaborative projects with China and Brasil. In 2005 Offringa was promoted Associate Professor at the IBL and in 2016 he was appointed Director of Education of the Biology Master program.

Plans for a bright future

Remko Offringa

'My aim is to do state-of-the-art fundamental research on plant development, and to translate our findings to applications for the plant breeding industry. We recently discovered a key regulator of phase transitions in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, and are currently investigating how this finding can be applied to improve crop propagation or to enhance seed production.' - Remko Offringa