Renate Weizbauer
  • Post-Doc, Carnegie Institution for Science
Research focus
  • Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Plant Science, Synthetic Biology
Personal information


Ph.D., Purdue University

Lab information

I deeply enjoy tackling challenging problems, developing new tools, and applying my experience as a plant molecular, cell and synthetic biologist to study and enable biology that can solve larger societal problems, such as brought forth by changing climate conditions, for example growing foods and developing biological carbon capture technologies.

Currently working as a postdoc at Carnegie Institution for Science at Stanford, I have worked on different angles of how the plant cell assembles and modifies the wall matrix that surrounds it:

1. I have successfully used a forward genetic screen coupled with NGS to find proteins that facilitate the interaction between the microtubule network and the cellulose synthesizing machinery;
2. I have visualized the localization patterns and dynamics of a cell wall protein to gain insight into how environmental changes might affect wall organization; and
3. I have developed several novel antibody fragment-based tools to overcome a longstanding problem in the field of cell wall biology, that is, to be able to visualize different carbohydrates from synthesis to insertion into the cell wall and possible changes of localization patterns during different stresses, in living organisms, and at high spatio-temporal resolution. These range from simple CarboProbes -antibody fragments specific to a carbohydrate fused to a fluorescent protein- to CarboSensors that can change their fluorescent output based on binding to the carbohydrate, making them more useful for tracking carbohydrates in vivo.
4. Lastly, since the sensors require expression of multiple transgenes; to fine-tune expression and simplify applications of the CarboSensors, I am currently working on developing a sequential inducible system and utilize different ribosome skipping peptides to allow expression off one plasmid.


Adding New Twists to Improve our Research on Cell Wall Mechanics. Weizbauer RA and Cook, D. Biophys J. 2022 Feb 15:S0006-3495(22)00141-2. doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2022.02.017.

Vision, challenges and opportunities for a Plant Cell Atlas. Plant Cell Atlas Consortium, Jha SG, Borowsky AT, Cole BJ, Fahlgren N, Farmer A, Huang SC, Karia P, Libault M, Provart NJ, Rice SL, Saura-Sanchez M, Agarwal P, Ahkami AH, Anderton CR, Briggs SP, Brophy JA, Denolf P, Di Costanzo LF, Exposito-Alonso M, Giacomello S, Gomez-Cano F, Kaufmann K, Ko DK, Kumar S, Malkovskiy AV, Nakayama N, Obata T, Otegui MS, Palfalvi G, Quezada-Rodríguez EH, Singh R, Uhrig RG, Waese J, Van Wijk K, Wright RC, Ehrhardt DW, Birnbaum KD, Rhee SY. Elife. 2021 Sep 7;10:e66877.

First plant cell atlas workshop report. Rice S, Fryer E, Ghosh Jha S, Malkovskiy A, Meyer H, Thomas J, Weizbauer R, Zhao K, Birnbaum K, Ehrhardt D, Wang Z, Rhee SY; Plant Cell Atlas Consortium. Plant Direct. 2020 Oct 15;4(10):e00271.

Structures formed by a cell membrane-associated arabinogalactan-protein on graphite or mica alone and with Yariv phenylglycosides. Zhou LH, Weizbauer RA, Singamaneni S, Xu F, Genin GM, Pickard BG. Ann Bot. 2014 Oct;114(6):1385-97.
Geometric constraints and the anatomical interpretation of twisted plant organ phenotypes. Weizbauer R, Peters WS, Schulz B., Front. Plant Sci. 2011; 2:62.

Brassinosteroid control of sex determination in maize. Hartwig T, Chuck G, Fujioka S, Antje Klempien, Weizbauer R, Choe S, Johal G and Schulz B. PNAS, 2011; Dec 6;108(49):19814-9.
Role of Aromatic Aldehyde Synthase in Wounding/Herbivory Response and Flower Scent Production in

Different Arabidopsis Ecotypes. Gutensohn M, Klempien A, Kaminaga Y, Nagegowda DA, Negre-Zakharov F, Huh JH, Luo H, Weizbauer R, Mengiste T, Tholl D, Dudareva N. Plant J. 2011, May;66(4):591-602.

The maternally expressed WRKY transcription factor TTG2 controls lethality in interploidy crosses of Arabidopsis. Dilkes BP, Spielman M, Weizbauer R, Watson B, Burkart-Waco D, Scott RJ, and Comai L. PLoS Biol. 2008 Dec 9;6(12):2707-20.
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