Michael Thomashow

Michael  Thomashow
  • MSU Foundation Professor, University Distinguished Professor
  • MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory
  • Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences


Michael Thomashow, University Distinguished Professor and founding director of the MSU Plant Resilience Institute, is world-renowned for identifying regulatory pathways controlling freezing tolerance in model and agriculturally important plants. He holds joint appointments in the Departments of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, and Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences.

Thomashow received his AB in bacteriology and his  PhD in microbiology from UCLA. Prior to joining MSU in 1986, he was on the faculty in the Department of Microbiology at Washington State University and was a Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Cancer Fund Research Fellow in Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Washington, Seattle.

Thomashow has published more than 125 research articles on his work and is one of the most highly cited researchers in his field. His many honors and achievements include being elected to the U.S. National Academies of Science, being named a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, the American Society of Plant Biologists and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and being named recipient of the American Society of Plant Biologists’ Steven Hales Prize.