Robert D. Slocum

Professor, Biological Sciences (1992)

Hoffberger Science Building G46


B.A., Zoology, University of Maine, 1974
M.S., Botany, Ohio State University, 1977
Ph.D., Botany, University of Texas, Austin, 1981

Postdoctoral studies in plant biology, Yale University, 1982-1985

Areas of Scholarly Expertise and Interest

Plant Biochemistry, Molecular Biology


Professor Slocum's research currently focuses on the regulation of pyrimidine metabolism in plants, employing molecular genetic approaches using the model plant Arabidopsis. He has published nearly 50 peer-reviewed research articles dealing with various topics in plant biochemistry, presenting his research at national and international scientific meetings. His research program has been funded by grants from NASA, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and private foundations.  He has directed over 40 student independent research projects, many of which have led to student co-authored research articles. At the NSF, he has served on review panels and was a rotating program Director of the Processes, Structures and Integrity (PSI)-Plant Program (BIO/IOS) from 2011-2012. Slocum has served on the Editorial Boards for Plant Growth Regulation and Plant Physiology. He has been a Visiting Research Scientist at the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Biology at Cornell University and at the Biotechnology Institute at Penn State University.  He has served as department chair and currently oversees administration of the departmental web site.

Representative Publications

Slocum RD (2005) Genes, enzymes and regulation of arginine synthesis in plants.  Plant Physiol. Biochem. 43: 729-745.

Chen CD and Slocum RD (2008) Expression and functional analysis of aspartate transcarbamoylase and role of de novo pyrimidine synthesis in regulation of growth and development in Arabidopsis. Plant Physiol. Biochem. 46: 150-159.

Zrenner R, Koppe C, Lange PR, Geserick C, Riegler H, *Bartosz CE, Chen CT, and Slocum RD (2009) A functional analysis of the pyrimidine catabolic pathway in Arabidopsis. New Phytologist 183: 117-132.

Slocum RD and Scholl JD (2013) NSF support of research at primarily undergraduate institutions (PUI). CUR Quarterly 34(1): 31-40. (Supplemental tables:

* undergraduate student co-authors

Invited Lectures/Presentations at Professional Meetings

NSF support of research at Primarily Undergraduate Institutions (PUI), American Society of Plant Biologists meeting, Austin, TX, July 20-24, 2012 (with JD Scholl)

Regulation of pyrimidine metabolism in Arabidopsis, Division of Integrated Organismal Systems, National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA, 2011

Responses to PALA-Induced Pyrimidine Limitation in Arabidopsis, 22nd International Conference on Arginine and Pyrimidines, Washington, D.C. (with CT Chen, JC Redman, HC Wu, CD Town), 2010

Functional genomics investigations of the regulation of pyrimidine nucleotide metabolism in Arabidopsis, Dept. Horticulture & Landscape Architecture, Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, CO, 2010

Recent Student Research Projects

Effects of Purine Nucleotide Availability on Growth, Development and Gene Expression in Arabidopsis thalianaSeedlings - Passley J. Hargrove '12

Structure-Function Studies of Arabidopsis Dihydropyrimidine Dehydrogenase - Randi L. Turner '12

Awards/Significant Accomplishments

National Science Foundation, Metabolic Biochemistry (MCB-0516544; $345,000), "Regulation of the Pyrimidine Metabolism in Plants", Co-Principal Investigator with Dr. Christopher D. Town, J. Craig Venter Institute, Rockville, MD, 2005-2009

Courses Taught

Introductory Biology I and Lab
Introductory Biology I Honors
Techniques in Genetics and Molecular Biology
Plant Physiology and Lab
Advanced Molecular Biology and Lab
Plant Molecular Biology and Biotechnology Seminar