Keiko U. Torii

Harnessing synthetic chemistry to understand and manipulate plant development
College of Natural Sciences, the University of Texas at Austin, US / Howard Hughes Medical Institute, US / Institute of Transformative Biomolecules, Nagoya University, Japan


Keiko Torii grew up in Yokohama, Japan and Scarsdale, NY, USA. She received BS, MS, and PhD from University of Tsukuba, Japan. Since Fall 2019, Prof. Torii relocated her group to the University of Texas where she holds the chair of Professor in Moleculars Biosciences and the Johnson & Johnson Centennial Chair in Plant Cell Biology. She studies cell-cell interactions specifying stem cell differentiation, tissue patterning and organogenesis in plants, with specific emphasis on stomatal development. She is also an Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and a Principal Investigator and Visiting Professor at the World Premier Research Initiative, Institute of Transformative Biomolecules (WPI-ITbM), Nagoya University, Japan, where her group takes chemical and synthetic approaches to understand and manipulate hormone signaling in plants. Prior to joining the University of Texas at Austin, Torii was the Endowed Distinguished Professor of Biology at the University of Washington. She is the winner of 2015 Saruhashi Prize, and is a Fellow of AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Sciences) and ASPB (American Society of Plant Biologists).