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2016 Leading Light Award Winner - Rising Star

Laura WayneLaura Wayne, Associate Research Scientist, Dow AgroSciences, LLC

  Laura joined the Discovery Research and Development function of Dow AgroSciences in 2012 after completing her PhD in Molecular Plant Sciences at Washington State University.

She has shown a remarkable ability to be a leader, to get things done, to network and collaborate with no boundaries of position or background and to have fun! She has delivered impactful results for her research projects, formed productive collaborations across workgroups and functions, has demonstrated a willingness to tackle tough problems and quickly deliver innovative solutions to generate value for her partners.

Laura serves on the American Society of Plant Biologists’ Women in Plant Biology leadership committee. She also serves as a mentor in the local Starfish Initiative, a college access and readiness program serving economically disadvantaged high school students in Marion County, Indiana.

Laura’s energy, drive and enthusiasm have led to successful collaborations, and the creation of new technology, intellectual property and capabilities.

She is a catalyst for innovative science and a passionate advocate for women in STEM.

Her leadership early in her scientific career has demonstrated that she is an outstanding role model as a young female scientist leader, showing that with energy and insight, you can quickly make a difference. She has a promising future as an outstanding leader in plant science.  


  • Wayne LL, Wallis JG, and Browse J. The highly redundant Arabidopsis cytochrome P450 reductases ATR1 and ATR2 have divergent roles in reproduction. (In preparation).
  • Wayne LL, Wallis JG, Kumar R, Markham JE, Browse J (2013) Cytochrome b5 Reductase Encoded by CBR1 Is Essential for a Functional Male Gametophyte in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell 25: 3052-3066
  • Wayne LL, Browse J (2013) Homologous electron transport components fail to increase fatty acid hydroxylation in transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana. F1000Res 2: 203


  • Adelifinskaya YA, Gachotte DJ, Gilbert JR, Balcer JL, Wayne LL, Buchholz LM. Profiling Lipids in Plants Using Infusion and Chromatography Based High Resolution Mass Spectrometry Methods with Automated Data Processing. June 2016 American Society of Mass Spectrometry Conference, San Antonio, Texas. (Poster)
  • Wayne L. Teasing apart the ER membrane reductases in Arabidopsis. June 2012 3rd Annual Banff Conference on Plant Metabolism, Banff, Alberta Canada. (Oral Presentation)
  • Wayne L and Browse J. Investigating electron supply for the Arabidopsis desaturases. 2012 2nd Annual Banff Conference on Plant Metabolism, Banff, Alberta Canada. (Poster Presentation)
  • Wayne L and Browse, J. Heterologous expression of the castor bean fatty acid hydroxylase (RcFAH12) and electron transfer proteins in Arabidopsis thaliana. February 2009 Gordon Research Conference on Plant Lipids, Galveston, TX. Poster presentation
  • Wayne L. Castor Oil: Renovating a Sustainable Household Item. February 2008 The Innovators Lecture Series, Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS): Enhancing Quality of Life Worldwide, Seattle, WA. (Oral Presentation)
  • Wayne L and Smart, L. Characterization of a guard-cell-specific enhancer trap line of Arabidopsis thaliana. April & July 2006 [Northeast Section] Annual meeting of the American Society of Plant Biologists (NEASPB & ASPB). (Poster presentation)


  • Member of the Student Experience Advisory Council for the College of Ag. at WSU (2016)
  • Women in Plant Biology Committee member for ASPB (2014-present) Experience Includes: Planning and organizing workshops & luncheons for the annual meetings. Inviting/hosting guest speakers and panelists. Reviewing applications for the Young Women Investigator Travel Award. (2014-present)
  • Reviewing student/postdoc resumes/CVs at ASPB conferences (2015 & 2016)
  • Starfish Initiative mentor (2013-present) Experience Includes: mentoring a high school student from a low-income family, student qualifies for Indiana’s 21st Century Scholarship. Mentoring focuses on helping the student prepare for college by encouraging good grades, helping them find internships/summer programs/scholarship, taking the student on college visits and career related events, and also socially prepare for college. Mentoring starts when the student is a freshman and continues until they go to college, meeting twice a month.
  • Judge for Hoosier Science and Engineering Fair -SEFI (2014 & 2015)
  • Proposal Writing Workshop for MPS graduate students at WSU (2010). Experience Included: design and development of curriculum for a 12 week summer workshop –introduction of proposal writing, developing a hypothesis and objectives, formatting for difference agencies, persuasive writing, reading & reviewing proposals, oral presentations, and invitations to guest lecturers.


  • Banff Conference on Plant Metabolism Graduate Student Oral Presentation Award (June 2012)
  • NIH Protein Biotechnology Traineeship (2006-2012)
  • NIH Biotechnology Symposium at WSU, 3st Place Poster Award (2011, 2010, & 2008)
  • Loyal H. Davis Fellowship at WSU (2009)
  • Integrated Plant Sciences retreat at WSU, Best Poster by a Graduate Student (2009)
  • NIH Biotechnology Symposium at WSU, 1st Place Poster Award (2009)
  • Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Fellowship (2006-2008)
  • WSU Graduate School Scholars Award (2006-2007)
  • SUNY-ESF’s Distinguished Biology Scholar Award for Biotechnology (May 2006)
  • SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence (April 2006)
  • SUNY-ESF Honors Program, including senior research thesis project (August 2005 -May 2006)
  • American Society of Plant Biologist’s (ASPB) Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) (June-July 2005)
  • SUNY-ESF President’s High Honors List (semesters: Fall 2003 & 2005, Spring 2004, 2005, & 2006)
  • SUNY-ESF President’s Honors List (semester: Fall 2004)
  • SUNY-ESF in the High School Scholarship (2003-2006)
  • SUNY-ESF Book Award (2003)
  • Finalist at the International Intel Science and Engineering Science Fair (ISEF) (2003)
  • First Place at the Greater Syracuse Scholastic Science Fair (GSSSF) (2003)
  • Syracuse University Greater Syracuse Scholastic Science Fair Scholarship (2002)
  • SUNY Cortland Science Leadership Scholarship (2002)

Organizations and Affiliations:

  • American Society of Plant Biologist (ASPB)

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