Faculty & Staff

Adán Colón-Carmona, PhD

Associate Professor of Biology - Cell Biology, Genetics and Molecular Biology of Plants.


Areas of Expertise

Cell Biology, Genetics, Molecular Biology of Plants


Postdoctoral Training: The Salk Institute for Biological Studies Plant Cell Cycle and University of California Davis.
PhD, Biological Sciences: UC Irvine.
BA, Biology: University of California (UC), Santa Cruz.

Professional Publications & Contributions

Additional Information

Research Interests

The research of the Colón-Carmona laboratory has been in the areas of cell and molecular biology. More specifically, my group has studied the cytoskeleton and cell signaling pathways associated with growth control. We utilize plant model systems to study these basic cellular processes related to areas of cell division, for instance. My current research projects include stress signaling associated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon exposure, hormone signaling in early organ development, plant control of rhizobacterial populations, and CENPE kinesin functions in cell cycle control.

Positions, Honors, and Awards

  • 2001-present  Advisor and Mentor: Ronald E. McNair Scholarship Program, NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program, NIH-Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity (IMSD), NIH-Bridges to the Baccalaureate, Dept. of Biology, UMass Boston.
  • 2006-present  Associate Professor of Biology, Dept. of Biology, UMass Boston.
  • 2000-2006  Assistant Professor, Dept. of Biology, UMass Boston.
  • 2004-2007  Lecturer, NSF Math Science Partnership GK-12 between UMass Boston, Boston Public Schools, and Northeastern University.
  • 2003, 2005  Faculty Appreciation Award, honored by UMass Boston students.
  • 2002  Public Service Endowment Award, "Participation of Underrepresented Groups in Plant Biology", University of Massachusetts (UMass), Boston.
  • 1999  Visiting Postdoctoral Scientist, Dept. of Vegetable Crops, University of California Davis (Dr. Steffen Abel).
  • 1995-1998  NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship Award, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, Dept. of Plant Biology, La Jolla, CA (Drs. Chris Lamb and Peter Doerner).
  • 1994  Steinhaus Outstanding Teaching Award, University of California, Irvine.
  • 1993  Curriculum Coordinator, Hispanic Center of Excellence, PRIDE Program, UC Irvine.
  • 1992  Curriculum Coordinator, California Alliance for Minority Participation (CAMP) Program, UC Irvine.
  • 1991  Curriculum Coordinator, UC Irvine Howard Hughes Summer Science Academy. 
  • 1989-1995  Doctoral Research, Dept. of Cell and Developmental Biology (Dr. Donald Fosket), UC Irvine.
  • 1989  National Chicano Council for Higher Education Award, UC Santa Cruz.
  • 1986  Minority Biomedical Research Support (MBRS-NIH) Fellowship, UC Santa Cruz.

Professional Affiliations

  • American Society of Plant Biologists.
  • Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science.
  • International Golden Key Society (Honorary Member).
  • New England Board of Higher Education.


  • Doerner P, Lamb C and Colón-Carmona A. (2000) “Method of increasing growth and yields in plants”. Patent number 6166293.

Professional Services

  • Outside grant reviewer for the National Science Foundation, Integrative Plant Biology and Molecular and Cellular Biology (5/2003, 2005, 2007), Environmental and Structural Systems (3/2005); US Department of Agriculture, Developmental Processes of Crops (3/2005, 2006)
  • Manuscript reviewer for Journal of Plant Cell and Environment, Journal of Plant Growth Regulation, Journal of Biotechnology and Bioengineering, International Journal of Phytoremediation, and Plant Physiology Journal.
  • Advisory Board and Mentor, Ronald McNair Scholarship Program, College of Arts and Sciences, UMass Boston (4/2000-present).
  • Mentor, Science, Engineering and Mathematics Academic Support Network, New England Board of Higher Education (10/2000-2007).
  • Advisory Board and Mentor, National Science Foundation Undergraduate Mentoring in Environmental Biology, Department of Biology, UMass Boston (10/2002-2006).
  • Mentor, National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU), Department of Biology, UMass Boston (6/2000-present).
  • Panel reviewer, National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship Program (2001, 2002, 2003, 2006-2008), and Frontiers in Integrative Biological Research Program (2006), National Institutes of Health, NIGMS Postdoctoral Fellowships (2006, 2007).
  • Advisory Board and Instructor, National Science Foundation Math Science Partnerships-UMass Boston, Northeastern University, and Boston Public Schools (10/2004-present).
  • Minority Affairs Committee member, American Society of Plant Biologist (2007-present)
  • Education panel reviewer, (2003, 2007) EdVestors Foundation, Boston philanthropic nonprofit organization designed to support increased private investment in urban education.

University Services

  • Workshop Presenter: UMass Boston High School Science Day, Dept. of Biology (2001, 2003), SACNAS National Conference (2002, 2003); Annual Biotechnology Symposium, Boston Museum of Science (2005, 2006); AP Biology Teacher Scholar Program, Harvard Medical School (2006, 2007).
  •  Advisory Member: Education Advisory Committee, Boston Nature Center-Mass Audubon Society (2004-present); Mauricio Gaston Institute Advisory Committee (2006-present)
  • Taught in the Following Courses: Plant Physiology, Developmental Biology, Biotechnology, Cell & Developmental Bio Lab, Plant Molecular Bio. & Physiol., Scientific Communications, Plant Development, Plant Hormones, Plant-Microbe Interactions, Advance Cell Biology, Tissue Culture, Plant Genomics for High School Teachers, Regulation and Homeostasis in Biological Model Systems (NSF-Boston Science Partnership).
  • Since 2000, I have mentored 75 undergraduates and 4 high school students in his laboratory. Of the 75 undergraduates, 30 conducted Honors research projects, 35 have participated in externally funded training programs (e.g. NSF-REU, NSF-UMEB, NIH-Bridges, NIH-IMSD, and McNair Programs), 47 are in or planning to do graduate studies, and 41 are from underrepresented groups in the sciences (all four high school students are from underrepresented groups).