Meet Assistant Professor Dr. Mark Zander

Dr. Mark Zander
Mark Zander join the Waksman Institute and SEBS in January 2021.

Dr. Mark Zander (Salk Institute for Biological Studies) is the newest member of the Waksman Institute. His research focuses on the impact of climate change on plant growth and resilience with an emphasis on transcription factor networks. He will join the ranks of accomplished scholars as a mentor in service to the educational mission of Rutgers University.


  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Salk Institute for Biological Studies 2012-2019 (Joseph R. Ecker)
  • Ph.D. Georg-August-University Göttingen, 2007-2011 (Christiane Gatz)
  • B.Sc. Biology, Georg-August-University Göttingen 2001-2007

Mark Zander received his Doctorate of Natural Sciences with a focus in Plant Molecular Biology from the Georg-August-University Göttingen in 2011. During his graduate work in the laboratory of Christiane Gatz, he explored the molecular mechanisms of crosstalk phenomena between different defense pathways in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. This led to the discovery of a group of basic leucine zipper transcription factors (TGA factors) that serve as a critical crosstalk node connecting the jasmonic acid/ethylene pathway with the salicylic acid pathway.

In 2012, he joined the laboratory of Prof. Dr. Joseph Ecker at the Salk Institute as a postdoctoral researcher. By utilizing different high-throughput sequencing approaches, he investigated the functional relationship between transcription factors and chromatin remodeling complexes in plant-environment interactions. He discovered an epigenetic control mechanism of an essential plant stress regulator, the gene regulatory networks underlying plant defense responses as well as the transcription factor-controlled reprogramming of the plant chromatin landscape in response to shade.

Welcome, Dr. Mark Zander!