Faculty Directory

Contact Information

Office:
Life Sciences & Bioengineering Center, 4018
Phone: +1-508-831-4194
Fax: +1-508-831-5936
lvidali@wpi.edu

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“Photosynthetic organisms will provide the sustainable food and energy of the future; this makes them an essential biotechnological resource that has to be understood in great detail.”

Luis Vidali

I deeply enjoy teaching, in particular conveying the important roles played by plants. It is a great reward when my students realize that plants are more complex and interesting than they anticipated, and they want to learn more. I enjoy that students at WPI are open about thinking in new ways; this critical thinking is the result of intense project-based learning.

My research aims at understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying plant cell organization and growth, with the long-term goal of increasing plant productivity. I am particularly interested in understanding the participation of the cytoskeleton in plant cell organization and growth. The cytoskeleton is one of the most conserved cellular systems between plants, fungi, and animals. This conservation is indicative of shared essential processes, such as the capacity for self-organization. Because these are complex problems, it is important to investigate them using a multidisciplinary approach and in a simple model organism. I was fortunate to identify the moss Physcomitrella patens as a simple plant with powerful molecular genetics. I was also fortunate to establish a fruitful collaboration with the Department of Physics at WPI. 

Research Interests

  • Cell biology of plants
  • Cytoskeleton and molecular motors
  • Microscopy
  • Oil producing algae
  • Interdisciplinary Research

Education

  • B.S. Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, 1993
  • Ph.D University of Massachusetts-Amherst, 1999
  • Post-doc Harvard Medical School, 2005
  • Post-doc University of Massachusetts-Amherst, 2009

Featured Publications

  • Bibeau J.P., and Vidali, L (2014) Morphological analysis of cell growth mutants in Physcomitrella. Methods in Molecular Biology 1080:201-213.
  • Furt, F., Liu, Y-C., Bibeau, J.P., Tüzel, E. Vidali, L. (2013) Apical myosin XI anticipates F-actin during polarized growth of Physcomitrella patens cells. Plant Journal. 73:417-428.
  • Vidali, L, Bezanilla, M. (2012) Physcomitrella patens: a model for tip cell growth and differentiation. Current Opinion in Plant Biology. 15:625-631. (Invited Review).
  • Shen, Z., Collatos, A.R., Bibeau, J.P., Furt, F. Vidali, L. (2012) Phylogenetic analysis of the kinesin superfamily from Physcomitrella. Frontiers in Plant Science. 3:230.
  • Furt, F., Lemoi K, Tüzel, E., and Vidali, L. (2012) Quantitative analysis of organelle distribution and dynamics in Physcomitrella patens protonemal cells. BMC Plant Biology. 12:70.
  • Augustine, R.C, Pattavina, K.A., Tüzel, E., Vidali, L., and Bezanilla, M. (2011) Actin interacting protein 1 and actin depolymerizing factor drive rapid actin dynamics. Plant Cell. 23:3696-3710.

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