CJ Tsai is W.N. “Hanks” Haynes Professor in Forest Biotechnology and Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar at the University of Georgia, where she holds joint appointments with the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, the Department of Genetics, and the Department of Plant Biology.
Her lab pioneered the application of CRISPR genome editing in forest trees for metabolic engineering or genetic manipulation of traits important to growth, development, and/or defense. Her research in trees has shed light on gene family evolution and functional diversification in herbaceous plants, including parasitic plants. Her group has also made significant contributions to genomic resources development and dissemination for Populus, the model species for tree functional genomics research.