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Fellows Directory

Elliot Meyerowitz

Elliot Meyerowitz

Professor Elliot Meyerowitz ForMemRS

Foreign Member

Elected: 2004


Elliot Meyerowitz is an American plant scientist who has pioneered the use of the mustard plant Arabidopsis thaliana as a model species for plant genetics and development studies. Elliot led the application of cutting-edge technologies to plant research, enabling elucidation of the molecular basis of phenomena such as the formation of flowers.

Originally specialising in developmental genetics of fruit flies, in the 1980s Elliot decided to apply newly invented molecular technologies to plants. Little was known about plant genetics, but by sequencing, cloning and studying genes in Arabidopsis, he established the species as a model organism that is now studied around the world.

Combining live imaging with molecular-tagging technologies, Elliot detailed how flower formation is controlled. He discovered the first plant hormone receptor and identified genes that control cell numbers in the plant growing tip. Elliot’s work has provided the fundamental framework around which the field of plant development has been built.

Professional positions

George W. Beadle Professor of Biology, California Institute of Technology
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Biochemistry and molecular cell biology
    • Cell biology (incl molecular cell biology)
  • Microbiology, immunology and developmental biology
    • Developmental biology


Arabidopsis thaliana, Biomechanics, Computational Morphodynamics, Developmental Genetics


  • Balzan Prize

    For plant molecular genetics.

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