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Todd P. Michael, Ph.D. is Professor and Director of Informatics at J. Craig Venter Institute, where his group focuses on reading and writing genomes. Current projects include sequencing minimal and specialized plant genomes, creating a minimal plant genome, and editing neuronal epigenomes to modulate learning and memory. Before joining JCVI, Dr. Michael has held several positions in Academics and Industry including Director of Genomics and Research Fellow at Abbott Laboratories, Head of the Genome Center and Associate Research Fellow at Monsanto, and Assistant Professor at The Waksman Institute and Rutgers University. He received his PhD from Dartmouth College, BA from the University of Virginia, and conducted Postdoctoral research at The Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

Research Priorities

Genome sequencing, assembly and analysis

  • Minimal and specialized plant genomes: carnivorous plants, duckweed
  • Circadian and time of day expression networks
  • Arabidopsis genomics and analysis tools

Genome editing

  • Methods of editing the epigenome
  • Epigenomics of learning and memory
  • Computational methods of genome design


O Loudet, TP Michael, D Weigel, J Chory. 2009. ZINC KNUCKLE PROTEINS. US20120017335 A1.

D Ecker, TP Michael, LL Cummins, MW Eshoo, ST Motely, DM Chou. Alterations of neurological gene expression by synthetic piRNAs and by alteration of piRNA function. US20140275216 A1.


Select Publications

Comprehensive definition of genome features in Spirodela polyrhiza by high-depth physical mapping and short-read DNA sequencing strategies.
The Plant journal : for cell and molecular biology. 2017-02-01; 89.3: 617-635.
PMID: 27754575
The Chloroplast Genome of Utricularia reniformis Sheds Light on the Evolution of the ndh Gene Complex of Terrestrial Carnivorous Plants from the Lentibulariaceae Family.
PloS one. 2016-01-01; 11.3: e0165176.
PMID: 27764252
Single-molecule sequencing of the desiccation-tolerant grass Oropetium thomaeum.
Nature. 2015-11-26; 527.7579: 508-11.
PMID: 26560029
Evolution of genome size and chromosome number in the carnivorous plant genus Genlisea (Lentibulariaceae), with a new estimate of the minimum genome size in angiosperms.
Annals of botany. 2014-12-01; 114.8: 1651-63.
PMID: 25274549
Analysis of global gene expression in Brachypodium distachyon reveals extensive network plasticity in response to abiotic stress.
PloS one. 2014-01-01; 9.6: e87499.
PMID: 24489928