Staffan Persson

Staffan Persson


Brief CV

Professor Staffan Persson, leader of the research group
: Cellulose synthesis, coordinator of the Center for Advanced Bioimaging (CAB) and head of Copenhagen Plant Science Center (CPSC).

Nationality: Swedish               Born: 26/12/1971


Working address
Section for Plant Glycobiology

Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences (PLEN)
University of Copenhagen
Thorvaldsensvej 40
1871 Frederiksberg C



  • PhD, Plant Physiology/Biochemistry.
    Lund University/NC State, Years: 1998-2003.
  • MSc, Plant Biochemistry
    Lund University, 1994-1997.


Positions and Roles

2020 – current: Professor in Plant Cell Biology, University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Denmark (start date: 2020/07/01)

2018 – current: Visiting Professor, Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU), China

2017 – 2020: ARC Future Fellow, Australia (Level 3; highest level)

2014 – current: Professor in Plant Cell Biology, University of Melbourne (UoM), Australia (Level E; highest level)

2013 – 2016: ChangJiang Scholar and visiting Professor, Huazhong Agricultural University (HZAU), China

2008 - 2014: Group Leader, Max-Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, Germany


Research Leadership, Supervision and Mentorship
My research career has involved cross-disciplinary approaches to elucidate how plants synthesize cell walls with a focus on cellulose. I have successfully built platforms in bioinformatics, cell biology, biochemistry, genetics and systems biology. These platforms have laid the foundation for many large-scale and interdisciplinary schemes, including: 

  • DNRF Chair award (2020).
  • Villum Investigator Grant (2019).
  • Novo Nordic Foundation, Laureate Research Grant (2019).
  • ARC Future Fellowship, level 3 (2017).
  • Platform development in microscopy (Large-scale equipment grant 2009, MPG; ARC LIEF grants 2015, 2016, 2018; lead CI and co-CI).
  • Marie-Curie training project (2012-2016).
  • KBBE EU project on Biorefinery (Director/coordinator; 2013-2016).
  • IRRTF RNC Grant (Director/coordinator; 2015).
  • Hermon-Slade Research Grant (2015).
  • KBBE tri-national project on cell wall saccharification (Director/coordinator; 2009-2012).
  • Multiple DFG and ARC research grants (three DFG grants, two ARC DP project).

Total grant amount of approx. 75 Million DKK (2008-2014); ~ $125 Million DKK (2015-2020).

I have extensive postgraduate (and undergraduate) teaching experience. I have supervised/co-supervised 6 MSc (or equivalent), 13 PhD students (to completion) and over 15 postdoctoral fellows in plant cell wall biology. Many of the former PhDs/postdocs now have their own research groups at prestigious institutions (e.g. ETH Zurich, MPI-MP Potsdam, NTU Singapore, Normal University Beijing, University of Toronto).


International collaborations
I have established a broad network of international collaborations. These include more than 20 labs world-wide. Many of these have led to publications in outstanding journals and to invitations to disseminate the research at meetings and direct invitations to visit the respective University/Institute.


Management and Leadership
I have far-reaching experience in establishing and driving major research endeavours, courses and programs (directing several major EU grant programs, and courses for two IMPRS schools at the MPG and an EU Marie-Curie scheme), as well as technology platforms (e.g. established and developed the confocal microscope platform at the MPI-MP, 2008 to 2014). I have established a joint PhD program between the UoM and MPI-MP/University of Potsdam in 2016 (currently enrolling 9 students, with 5 more than expected for 2017). This program was awarded the Dean’s Excellence award (2017).

I am furthermore the new Head of the Copenhagen Plant Science Center (CPSC).


Measures of esteem, contributions to the field and awards
The research I have performed or led has been recognised via the following accolades:

  • ARC Future Fellowship.
  • DNRF Chair.
  • Changjiang Scholar.
  • F1000 Section Head, UoM.
  • Top cited scientist in the leading plant journals Plant Cell and Plant Physiology (2009-2013;
  • Web of Science, Thomson Reuters highly cited Researcher 2016, 2017, 2018 (top 1% of all researchers in the world).
  • Selected for international top researcher grant (approx. 95 Million DKK; VR, Sweden, declined due to Professor position at UoM*).
  • Villum Investigator award.
  • Novo Nordisk Laureate.


Journal Editorial Boards
Stress Biology (Associate editor 2020-), Planta (Associate editor 2020-), Cell Surface (Associate editor; 2017 -), Plant Cell and Physiology (Honorary editor; 2014-), BMC Plant Biology (Associate editor; 2012-) and Molecular Plant (Associate editor; 2011-).


Conference Organising and Program Committees
Scientific board member and session chair on many conferences, including ComBio2020 (Melbourne, Australia; organizing committee), IMC19 (Sydney, Australia; 2018), Cell Wall Conference (Dalian, China; 2017), Plant Gene Discovery & Omics Technologies (Vienna, Austria; 2014), XIIIth International Cell Wall Meeting (Nantes, France; 2013), etc.


Speaker invitations
I have been invited to over 60 conferences, symposia and research institutions to disseminate my research. Recent invitations include: Leibniz Plant Biochemistry Symposium 2021 (Germany), International Symposium on Plant Reproductive Development (Shanghai, China, 2021), ComBio (Melbourne, 2018), International Plant Molecular Biology Congress (Brazil, 2015), The 1st Molecular Plant International Symposium (Shanghai, 2015), etc.


Number of publications: 142; Citations: 11,026; H-index: 53; i10-index: 109 (Citations from Google Scholar)

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