Ana Lopez Vazquez: The Plant Cell First Author

Ana Lopez Vazquez, first author of “Protein S-acylation controls the subcellular localization and biological activity of PHYTOCHROME KINASE SUBSTRATE”

Current Position: TBD

Education: Ph.D. in Life Sciences, University of Lausanne (UNIL), Switzerland. Master’s degree in Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology, University of Seville, Spain. Bachelor in Biology, University of Seville, Spain.

Non-scientific Interests: nature, swimming, diving, travelling, hiking, cooking, and dancing.

Brief bio: after finishing my master’s thesis project on enzymatic engineering at the Institute of Plant Biochemistry and Photosynthesis in Seville, Spain, I joined the proteomics team at The Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich, England, where I temporarily worked on the molecular signaling underlying plant-pathogens interactions. Then, I decided to study my Ph.D. in the lab of Prof. Christian Fankhauser at the Center for Integrative Genomics in Lausanne, Switzerland, where I worked on the molecular mechanisms underlying plant development in response to light using the model Arabidopsis thaliana. My research focused on understanding how the Phytochrome Kinase Substrate (PKS) protein family works on a mechanistic level to promote hypocotyl directional growth. I conducted a structure-function study that identified two functionally relevant PKS protein motifs, one of them addressed in this article. I tested the importance of the other motif for the interaction with binding partners, which is leading to further studies aiming to understand the role of PKS in differential growth regulation. Through a collaboration with the lab of Prof. Christian Hardtke, I had the opportunity to test the importance of PKS in the grass Brachypodium distachyon, part of another piece of work focusing on the functional conservation and diversification of PKS proteins.