Manuel Jesús Mallén Ponce: Plant Physiology First Author

Manuel Jesús Mallén Ponce, first author of “Depletion of m-type thioredoxin impairs photosynthesis, carbon fixation, and oxidative stress in cyanobacteria”

Current Position: Postdoctoral Researcher in Plant Biochemistry and Photosynthesis Institute (CSIC-Universidad de Sevilla).

Education: BSc in Biochemistry, MSc in Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology, and PhD degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (University of Sevilla, Spain).

Non-scientific Interests: Travelling around the world with my wife María José Zurita, hiking, Formula 1, collecting model cars and playing football.

Brief bio: I grew up in Aznalcázar, which is one of the four towns located within the Doñana National Park (Spain). I developed my interest in research when I discovered the beauty of Doñana, its extraordinary landscapes and its inhabitants. Doñana is considered the largest nature reserve in Europe and I was lucky enough to work as an environmental educator for a few years. For this reason, I started studying biology and then biochemistry. Moreover, I first got involved in scientific research as an undergraduate student in the Department of Plant Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the University of Sevilla (Spain), where I joined the “Gene expression and signal transduction in cyanobacteria” group led by Prof. Francisco J. Florencio. In this lab, I developed skills in genetics, molecular biology and biochemistry, and I did my MSc investigating the regulation of photosynthesis. Immediately after, I got the opportunity to complete my PhD studying redox regulation via thioredoxin under the supervision of Prof. Francisco J. Florencio and Dra. María José Huertas. In my thesis, I gained training in the exciting world of carbon/nitrogen metabolism and its regulation in the model cyanobacterium Synechocystis, and also good friends and colleagues.

After finishing my PhD, I started my first post-doctoral research experience when I joined the “TOR signaling in Chlamydomonas” group led by Dr. José Luis Crespo, studying nutrient sensing and TOR signaling in the model green alga Chlamydomonas. Fortunately, there is a good and friendly working environment with my colleagues, and we are making good progress.