Welcome to Arkansas State University!

Professor of Molecular Biology


  • PhD - 1982 - Biological Sciences (Molecular Biology and Biochemistry), University of California, Irvine, CA
  • BA - 1974 -  Biological Sciences, University of California, Berkeley, CA
  • Postdoc - 1982-86 - Salk Institute, La Jolla, CA

Research Interests

My research is currently focused in two areas: 1) the development of plants as a bioproduction platform for complex high-value pharmaceutical proteins and vaccines and 2) the development of RTB, the nontoxic carbohydrate binding domain of ricin, for transmucosal delivery, subcellular trafficking, and immune-presentation of associated proteins and drugs.  These studies incorporate basic analyses of protein synthesis, processing, trafficking, folding/structure, assemble and stability.  Although trained in genetics and plant molecular biology, my research has developed a very strong biomedical focus and highly interactive collaborations with bioinformaticists, immunologists, medical biochemists, and infection disease researchers at University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, UA for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, and University of Georgia as well as colleagues at A-State.



  • American Society of Plant Biologists
  • Sigma Xi
  • Phi Kappa Phi


Dr. Cramer is internationally recognized as a leader and pioneer in plant transgenics for biopharmaceutical production. She is currently a professor in the Department of Biology and College of Agriculture and Technology at A-State and heads A-State's new Arkansas Biosciences Institute (ABI), a state-of-the-art research institute focused at the interface of agriculture and biomedicine. Her vision for A-State's ABI integrates highly interactive cross-disciplinary research with programs in educational outreach and in entrepreneurship and economic development.

Dr. Cramer has 25 years of experience in molecular research, is an author on more than 50 refereed scientific journal articles, and inventor on three issued and several pending patents. Research being done in her laboratory is focused on using the unique biosynthetic capacity of plants to make complex proteins as therapeutic medicines and vaccines. She served on the US Secretary of Agriculture's Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture and has been a major speaker at national and international venues including the WHO Symposium on Plant Biotechnology and Human Health in the Developing World and the 2007 Plant-based Vaccines and Antibodies Conference held in Verona, Italy. She also co-founded and served as Chief Scientific Officer of biotechnology spin-off companies focused on plant-based production of therapeutics and vaccines.

Dr. Cramer received her BA in Biology at the University of California at Berkeley (1974), her PhD from UC, Irvine in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry (1992), was a postdoctoral researcher at the Salk Institute, and served on the faculty of Virginia Tech for 18 years prior to joining ABI at A-State in 2004.