Sushma Naithani

Associate Professor (Sr. Res.), Plant Genomics and Bioinformatics
Lead Biocuration Scientist for Plant Reactome Knowledgebase
Office: 4619 Cordley Hall, 
Dept. of Botany and Plant Pathology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, 97331
Phone: +1-541-737-8022 I E-mail:   


Area of Expertise: Gene and Pathway Biocuration, Systems biology, Genomics, Bioinformatics,  Cell signaling, Organelle biogenesis, and Photosynthesis, 

Other Scholarly Interests: Science and Society, Science Communication, Science Policy, and History of science

About: Sushma Naithani has an M.Sc. in Biotechnology and a Ph.D. in Botany. In 1998, she emigrated from India to the USA and worked at Iowa State University (1998-1999) and at Cornell University (1999-2007). In 2008, Naithani joined Oregon State University as an Assistant Professor Senior Research, and in 2020 she was promoted to Associate Professor Senior Research. Currently, her research focuses on understanding information flow in living systems and how evolution shapes this flow. Naithani employs cutting-edge systems-level pathway modeling approaches supported by biocuration, gene-orthology-based predictions, and thorough analysis of genetic, genomic and gene-expression data. She is the lead biocurator for the Plant Reactome knowledgebase. She also developed species-specific metabolic networks for grapevine (VitisCyc) and strawberry (FragariaCyc), available free-of-cost to support the plant researchers.

Naithani collaborates with various scientists on a range of plant genomics and transcriptomics projects and on development of guidelines and recommendations for standardizing, formatting, and annotating genomic/ OMICs data. She is committed to making genomic data FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Reusable, and Interoperable) and is a Steering Committee member for the AgBioData consortium (2022-present) and a NASA Space Biology working group member (2022-present). Her past contributions include committee roles with the International Society for Biocuration (2021 to 2023) and the Grape Information System (2015 to 2020). Naithani serves as a peer-reviewer for several scientific journals. 

Naithani is deeply passionate about science communication and enhancing public scientific literacy. She authored an Open Textbook titled "History and Science of Cultivated Plants" (published by Oregon State University Open Educational Resources in 2021). Additionally, she authored a popular science book on Agriculture in the Hindi, published by the National Book Trust of India in 2020 (ISBN: 978-81-237-9265-1).

Genomic Resources and Databases:

Other Affiliations