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Xuemei Chen got her B.S. degree from Peking University and Ph.D. degree from Cornell University. After postdoctoral training at California Institute of Technology, she started her assistant professor position in 1999 at the Waksman Institute at Rutgers University. She was promoted to associate professor in 2005 and won the Board of Trustees Research Fellowship for Scholarly Excellence at Rutgers University. She moved to University of California, Riverside in 2005 as an associate professor and was promoted to full professor in 2009 and distinguished professor in 2013. In 2006, she received the Charles Albert Shull award from American Society of Plant Biologists. She was elected an AAAS Fellow in 2011 and a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 2013. She studied chloroplast gene expression in Chlamydomonas during her Ph.D. training and floral patterning mechanisms during her postdoc research. Her lab has focused on the molecular mechanisms underlying the biogenesis, degradation, and modes of action of small RNAs in plants and has recently begun to study RNA modifications.