Careers & Education

Lab Photo The University of Missouri (MU) has long been recognized as a leading institution for plant science research, education, crop improvement and outreach. More than 40 scientists, recognized nationally and internationally for their expertise in genomics, cell and molecular biology, physiology and biochemistry, genetics and breeding, nutrition, crop production systems and economics of agrobiotechnology, are committed to soybean biotechnology research.

This group includes four endowed professors in soybean genomics, biotechnology, breeding, and agricultural economics at MU. The National Center for Soybean Biotechnology (NCSB), with its many renowned scientists, is uniquely positioned to offer excellent educational opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and post doctoral students.

Opportunities exist for undergraduates to be involved as hourly student workers for many of the scientists working at the NCSB. Experiences gained through these activities can enrich the undergraduate educational experience by obtaining hands-on experience in working with the latest plant biotechnology methods. Students will have opportunities to work in some of the most modern and well-equipped laboratories that conduct research using microarrays, soybean transformation, molecular breeding, DNA sequencing, drought screening, fatty acid screening, and many other areas in soybean biotechnology.

In addition, excellent field facilities are available to expose undergraduates to the latest techniques in soybean management, soybean production, and the latest soybean breeding techniques. Undergraduates also have the opportunity to conduct their own research and gain experience in developing research hypotheses, designing experiments and carrying them through to completion. Some undergraduates may use these research opportunities to serve as their undergraduate capstone experience. Experiences gained by undergraduates at the NCSB will be an asset in helping students find jobs and, perhaps, develop the necessary skills and education to enter graduate school.

Graduate and postdoctoral educational opportunities abound at the NCSB. Most of the professors associated with the NCSB are heavily involved in graduate education, both in teaching formal courses and serving as major professors to those studying for advanced degrees. Graduate and postdoctoral students at the NCSB will have opportunities to interact with other eminence programs such as the Genetics Area Program, Interdisciplinary Plant Group and the Molecular Biology Program. Many of the faculty members working at the NCSB are members of one or more of these eminence programs. Faculty members working at the NCSB, are from many disciplines and cover, extensively, most of the areas in the plant sciences, including economics of soybean biotechnology.

Students at the NCSB will focus their research efforts on soybean biotechnology and will use the latest scientific methods and equipment to meet their research objectives. In addition, excellent field facilities are available at many of the research farms distributed throughout the state, permitting students to study environmental influences on important soybean traits and contribute to a better understanding of combating abiotic and biotic stresses. Unique opportunities exist to obtain an excellent education ranging from the laboratory all the way to the field or some combination thereof.

One of the goals of the NCSB is to make available the latest research information on soybean biotechnology. Scientific publications include a newsletter, web sites, books, popular articles, and refereed publications in scientific journals. In addition, scientists located at the NCSB regularly make presentations on their latest research findings to soybean producers at field days and extension meetings, to soybean industry representatives, to certified crop advisors and many others who need to be informed on the latest information in soybean biotechnology. Scientists, along with their students and postdocs, regularly present research results at scientific meetings in the USA and worldwide. The latest research findings available range from soybean production practices, disease control strategies, varieties available, to molecular biology as applied to soybean. This information is available throughout the world to anyone interested in soybean biotechnology.