Michael R. Sussman

Professor of Biochemistry

5428 Genetics-Biotechnology Center, msussman@wisc.edu, 608.262.8608




PhD (1976), Michigan State University

Postdoctoral fellow (1976-1982), Yale University

Research Interests

Development and application of genomic technologies for understanding how the plasma membrane functions in all cells.

Lab Website


Representative Awards

  • 1978 McKnight Award for Research in Plant Biology
  • 1990 Fulbright Research Scholar Award
  • 1996 Kellett Mid-Career Research Award, UW-Madison

  • 2004 Vilas Associate Award, UW-Madison
  • 2005 Elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science


Research in the Sussman lab is focused on developing and applying new genomic technologies to glean mechanistic information on how proteins in the plasma membrane sense and respond to changes in the environment, both externally (e.g. hormones, temperature, light etc) and internally (i.e. developmentally).

Plants respond to environmental changes such as drought by a complex network of signaling proteins whose levels of protein phosphorylation are modulated throughout the cell.  The Sussman lab uses mass spectrometric-based quantitative phosphoproteomic pipelines to identify the key components of these signaling networks initiated by hormones and osmosensing receptor proteins at the plant plasma membrane. Arabidopsis thaliana is the model organism under study since it provides facile genetic tests for hypotheses derived from the chemical analyses to ensure that the measured changes play important roles in planta.


Representative Publications  (PUBMED)

  • Ivancic, M. M. et al. Conserved serum protein biomarkers associated with growing early colorectal adenomas. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 116, 8471-8480, doi:10.1073/pnas.1813212116 (2019).
  • Nguyen, T. T., Sabat, G. & Sussman, M. R. In vivo cross-linking supports a head-to-tail mechanism for regulation of the plant plasma membrane P-type H(+)-ATPase. The Journal of biological chemistry 293, 17095-17106, doi:10.1074/jbc.RA118.003528 (2018).
  • Minkoff, B. B. et al. Plasma-Generated OH Radical Production for Analyzing Three-Dimensional Structure in Protein Therapeutics. Scientific reports 7, 12946, doi:10.1038/s41598-017-13371-7 (2017).
  • Haruta, M., Sabat, G., Stecker, K., Minkoff, B. B. & Sussman, M. R. A peptide hormone and its receptor protein kinase regulate plant cell expansion. Science (New York, N.Y 343, 408-411, doi:10.1126/science.1244454 (2014).
  • Gallant, J. R. et al. Nonhuman genetics. Genomic basis for the convergent evolution of electric organs. Science (New York, N.Y 344, 1522-1525, doi:10.1126/science.1254432 (2014).