- Albert D. Lasker Professor in Molecular Genetics & Cell Biology
- Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Preuss studies the genetics of reproduction in Arabidopsis thaliana, a self-pollinating flowering plant that serves as the "fruit fly" of the plant kingdom for its ease of laboratory growth and genetic manipulation.
Preuss and her laboratory team are working to understand how organisms control passing on correct genetic material to their offspring. Preuss has identified two key protein families for genetic control that are on the surface of Arabidopsis pollen and has used them to study the pollen allergy that affects nearly 20 percent of the U.S. population.
Preuss also has used pollen tubes to reveal important roles for gamma-amino butyric acid, or GABA, a common neurotransmitter. In addition, she is interested in the genetics behind rapid evolution and has developed artificial chromosomes in plants. Currently she is using an in vitro assay to examine the way GABA and other small molecules signal.