Westwood lab group photo

A career in science is exciting, interesting, and rewarding. We train students of all levels (from high school students to postdoctoral fellows) in an environment that promotes creative problem solving,  teamwork, and fun with plants. Graduates from my program currently work in academia, industry and government settings.

I primarily recruit graduate students through the Virginia Tech Translational Plant Sciences (TPS) program. This is a fantastic program that allows new Ph.D. students to spend their first year focusing on courses and conducting six-week "rotation" projects in different labs. Through this process, students are integrated into the community and experience different types of research. At the end of the first year, they make an informed choice about which lab they want to join as their permanent home. Find out more about TPS at the website: https://translationalplantscience.org/

Undergraduate students are an important part of my research group. Undergrads at Virginia Tech who are interested in gaining laboratory research experience should contact me by email. 

Current News


Jim Westwood led a team of colleagues and students to Kenya in July, 2018 to discuss potential for linking parasite genomics research with strategies for Striga control


Kristen Clermont graduated with her Ph.D. in December: “Plasticity of Primary Metabolism in Parasitic Orobanchaceae


Weed Technology: Interference and control of ALS-resistant mouse-ear cress (Arabidopsis thaliana) in winter wheat.  Go to: DOI: 10.1017/wet.2018.69

Weed Science: Weed control in 2050: Imagining the future of weed science. Go to: DOI: org/10.1017/wsc.2017.78

Genes: Identification of differentially methylated sites with weak methylation effect. Go to: DOI: 10.3390/genes9020075

Nature: MicroRNAs from the parasitic plant Cuscuta campestris target host messenger RNAs.  Go to: DOI: 10.1038/nature25027