Biology professor Gloria Muday pursues research on how plant hormones modulate root development. She is interested in the biochemical mechanisms by which these hormones control growth and metabolism, exploring these questions using approaches including genetics, molecular biology, microscopy, and biochemistry.
The Muday lab has made significant contributions to our understanding of plant root growth and plant synthesis of molecules that promote human health.
Muday is known for her educational outreach efforts; she has developed innovative teaching methods using heirloom tomatoes to teach genetics to high school students, taking her biology students into community schools to teach what they’ve learned about genetics of tomatoes, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and agricultural biotechnology.
In these lessons students learn about dominant and recessive genes and the genetic influence on the characteristics that can be seen and the ones that cannot. They use Punnett squares to predict gene combinations, discuss the science behind GMO foods, and even extract the DNA from red and purple mutant fruits.
Areas of Expertise (4)
Media Appearances (3)
Thousands expected at 'March for Science'
“Are you using your cell phone? Have you taken a prescription medication lately?” said Muday, who will be attending the march in the nation’s capital. “Science makes our world a better place. It’s about thinking for the future, not tomorrow.”
Gender equality in STEM careers a long way off, statistics reveal
Universities across the United States have developed programs to attract more women to STEM careers; however, statistics show those efforts are not translating. Wake Forest University students, faculty and administrators are working on formal research, departmental evaluations and innovative outreach to change the statistics.
Teenagers and mutant tomatoes
What started as a simple show and tell with heirloom tomatoes by Wake Forest University biology professors and students to teach about genetic diversity has grown into an interactive presentation that has reached thousands of public school students.
Wake Forest biology professors Gloria Muday and Carole Gibson and their students use mutant tomatoes grown in the campus garden to teach fundamental biology concepts to local high school students. "Teaching with Tomatoes" is funded by the American Society of Plant Biology Education Foundation and has evolved over the years.