Dr. Timmermans completed her PhD in Biochemistry at Rutgers University, USA, in 1996. After a brief postdoctoral period at Yale University, USA, where she extended her knowledge of plant development, she established her independent group at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York, USA, in 1998. There she was promoted through the ranks of Assistant and Associate Professor to become a Full Professor in 2009. In 2015, upon being awarded the Alexander von Humboldt Prize, she became Professor in Developmental Genetics and Cell Biology at the Center for Plant Molecular Biology (ZMBP) at the University of Tübingen. Since 2017, she also is director of the ZMBP, which comprises 21 independent research groups and approximately 250 employees. Her laboratory investigates epigenetic and small RNA-mediated gene regulation in plant stem cell function and organogenesis. Her group discovered that small RNAs move from cell to cell and act as morphogen-like signals in development, for which she was awarded the James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Award. Dr. Timmermans is also an elected member of EMBO, and the recipient of several additional awards, including the L. Stadler Award, the Demerec-Kaufmann-Hollaender Fellowship, and the Perkin Fellowship for Women in Science.
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