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Eli Buckner is a PhD student in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at North Carolina State University. He received his B.S.E. from the UNC Asheville – NC State joint Mechatronics Engineering program in May of 2016 and his M.S. in Electrical Engineering from NC State in December of 2018. Eli has been funded by the Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) Fellowship in Molecular Biotechnology and is getting a minor in Molecular Biotechnology. His research focuses on the use of computer vision techniques to quantify spatiotemporal gene expression in plants to assess the effects of stress on agriculture. His approaches use machine learning, image processing, and digital signal processing to infer biological significance from microscopy image data.

Current Project

Analysis of Phloem Enucleation in Plants Induced by Iron Deficiency: Enucleation is a process in the phloem vascular tissue of plants that dissolves the cell’s nucleus and makes room for a channel to transport nutrients throughout the plant. Environmental stresses, such as iron deficiency in the soil, have the potential to alter gene regulation and ultimately hinder the process of enucleation. Eli is currently developing a computer vision methodology that can autonomously track and measure the stages of enucleation in these nuclei. The quantification of enucleation progress is being used to compare the effect of iron deficiency on phloem vascular development which has the potential to greatly threaten the health of plants. This technology is also being used to quantify how genetic modifications may improve the enucleation process under iron deficiency stress.


Buckner, Eli, Chanae Ottley, Cranos Williams, Angels de Luis Balaguer, Charles E. Melvin, and Rosangela Sozzani. “Tracking gene expression via light sheet microscopy and computer vision in living organisms.” In 2018 40th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC), pp. 818-821. IEEE, 2018.
Buckner, Eli, Imani Madison, Hsuan Chou, Anna Matthiadis, Charles E. Melvin, Rosangela Sozzani, Cranos Williams, and Terri Long. “Automated imaging, tracking, and analytics pipeline for differentiating environmental effects on root meristematic cell division.” Frontiers in Plant Science 10 (2019): 1487.
Clark, Natalie M., Eli Buckner, Adam P. Fisher, Emily C. Nelson, Thomas T. Nguyen, Abigail R. Simmons, Maria A. de Luis Balaguer et al. “Stem-cell-ubiquitous genes spatiotemporally coordinate division through regulation of stem-cell-specific gene networks.” Nature communications 10, no. 1 (2019): 1-11.
Buckner, Eli, Imani Madison, Charles Melvin, Terri Long, Rosangela Sozzani, and Cranos Williams. “BioVision Tracker: A semi-automated image analysis software for spatiotemporal gene expression tracking in Arabidopsis thaliana.” Methods in cell biology 160 (2020): 419-436.
Madison, Imani, Charles Melvin, Eli Buckner, Cranos Williams, Rosangela Sozzani, and Terri Long. “MAGIC: Live imaging of cellular division in plant seedlings using lightsheet microscopy.” Methods in cell biology 160 (2020): 405-418.

Contact Information

Room 3031, Engineering Building II
Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering,
North Carolina State University,
Raleigh NC USA 27695.

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