People

 

 

Principal Investigator


Colleen Doherty

Email: cjdohert@ncsu.edu 

 

 

Graduate Students

 

Edmaritz Hernandez-Pagan

Email: ehernan6@ncsu.edu

Plant Biomining Systems for Rare Earth Elements

Rare earth elements are essential to modern technology and renewable energy economies. Yet their acquisition is expensive and damaging to the environment. My research interest is in developing plant biomining systems that efficiently extract rare earth elements from bedrock or waste streams to reduce the environmental footprint and costs of providing rare earth elements for our economy. This work could reduce our dependence on foreign sources for rare earth elements improving the transition to a renewable economy.

 

Kanjana Laosuntisuk

Email: klaosun@ncsu.edu

Circadian Oscillations in Arabidopsis Callus and Cell Suspensions

My research is focusing on how the circadian oscillation works in Arabidopsis callus and cell suspension. We observe the expression of circadian clock promoter genes in calli from different sources under different conditions to understand the circadian clock regulation in continuously growing cells compared with intact plants. We also plan to study the circadian rhythms in monocots such as rice and sorghum by using callus and cell suspension as a model.

 

 

Joseph Tolsma

Interactions between the Circadian Clock and Gravitropism

I graduated from Northwestern College in 2017 before moving to Raleigh for the genetics graduate program. I enjoy playing board games, my cats, hiking, and gardening in my spare time. The goal of my current research is to better understand how plants respond to microgravity. More specifically, one of my projects is working to better understand the interaction between the circadian clock and gravity. To accomplish this, I am performing root bending assays over a 24-hour time course and utilizing the microgravity simulators at the Kennedy Space Center. Another part of my research is performing a meta-analysis of previous plant, space-flight experiments. Using this data, our goal is to identify enriched cis-elements that are important regualtors of the plant microgravity response. After this in silico work, we will identify trans-acting factors using Y2H before making constructs to visualize how these proteins of interest are expressed under various conditions.

Montana Knight

I am interested in the plant response to both abiotic and biotic stress. For example, how something like high nighttime temperature affects a plant’s ability to respond to further stressors like a pathogen. Understanding plant’s response to a combination of stressors is essential in order to model what is happening in the natural world. I am a second year PhD student in the Genomics Sciences Graduate Program studying Bioinformatics. This allows me to better integrate statistics, computer science, and biology when I approach a problem. I am co-advised by both Dr. Doherty and Dr. Nielsen (Bioinformatics). I am also passionate about data visualization and science communication. When I am not playing with data, you can find me playing racquetball, cooking, or watching Netflix

Machine Learning for Mining Plant Data Resources

I am interested in the plant response to both abiotic and biotic stress. For example, how something like high nighttime temperature affects a plant’s ability to respond to further stressors like a pathogen. Understanding plant’s response to a combination of stressors is essential in order to model what is happening in the natural world. I am a second year PhD student in the Genomics Sciences Graduate Program studying Bioinformatics. This allows me to better integrate statistics, computer science, and biology when I approach a problem. I am co-advised by both Dr. Doherty and Dr. Nielsen (Bioinformatics). I am also passionate about data visualization and science communication. When I am not playing with data, you can find me playing racquetball, cooking, or watching Netflix

Postdoctoral Fellows

 

Cyprian Rajabu

Email:carajabu at ncsu

Improving Rare Earth Uptake in Plants

Details (and picture) coming after COVID reopening.

Juliette Jordan

Email: jtjorda3@ncsu.edu

Chemical Induced Plant Stress

I received my B.S. in Biology in 2009 and an M.S. in Biology in 2011, both from Georgia Southern University. I worked as an EHS intern from 2011 to 2012 and then as a buyer from 2012-2015 for Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems during which I earned an MBA from Georgia Southern University. In 2015, I decided to follow my passion and pursued PhD in Environmental Toxicology at Texas Tech University. I received my Ph.D. in just over three years and graduated in the Fall of 2018. My graduate work focused on the effects of engineered nanomaterials on crops such as tomato and cotton. I am currently an Intelligence Community Postdoctoral Fellow working under the supervision of Dr. Colleen Doherty in the Structural and Molecular Biochemistry Department at North Carolina State University. As an Intelligence Community Postdoctoral Fellow, I hope to develop early detection methods for crop stress. I will explore external factors, like time of day measurement is taken, and other varying environmental conditions to optimize detection methods. I will use gene expression measurements, hyperspectral imaging, and other monitoring methods to evaluate plant responses to the environment. Through this research, I aim to find the best indicators that will facilitate real-time monitoring of plant responses to environment. Besides from my passion for science I am also interested in the mind-body connection and is currently pursuing a 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training certification at Cary Flow Yoga in Cary, NC.

Estefania Elorriaga

Email:eelorri at ncsu

Cis-regulatory Control of Gene Expession

Details (and picture) coming after COVID reopening.

Research Technician

Stephanie Ruzsa

Details (and picture) coming soon…..

Visiting Scientists

 

 

Undergraduate Students

  • Sammy Rueckeis
  • Zachary Allen
  • Faith Bradshaw
  • Ari Ogunda
  • Blake Horton
  • Nysaa Ndey-Bongo
  • Sebastian Willliams
  • Alex Harris 

 

Alumni

 

Postdoctoral Researchers
  • Erin Slabaugh – Scientist III BASF
PH.D. Students 
  • Jigar Desai– Post Doc, Wave Life Sciences Boston, MA
  • Dmitry Grinevich- Post Doc, NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine
Master’s Students
  • Jiaqi DuanResearch Associate II, Forty Seven, Inc, San Francisco
  • Eric Waddell – Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center
  • Kanjana Laosuntisuk (see above!)
  • Donna Liebelt – Lumen Bioscience Seattle, Washington

 

Undergraduates
  • Sarah Garfinkle
  • Racheal Spurlin
    • PhD Student
      Biochemistry
      Emory University
  • James Sheppard
  • Shannon Conroy
    • Graduate Student
    • University of Basel
  • Jacob Lasky
    • Data Analytics Program NCSU
  • Luong Phan
  • Zachary Zechman
  • Evan Brown
  • Jacob Fredenberg
  • Elizabeth Byers
  • Ricky Critchfield
  • Katie Ryan

 

REU Students
  • Maria Sorkin
    • PhD Student
      Plant and Microbial Biosciences
      Washington University
  • Valeria C Laboy
    • Pharmacy Student
      University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • Edmaritz Hernandez Pagan
    • PhD Student (See above!!!!)
      Molecular and Structural Biochemistry 
      North Carolina State University
Visitors
  • Eva Malečková
    • PhD Student
      Düsseldorf, Germany
  • Silmara Correia