Markéta Šámalová: Plant Physiology First Author

Markéta Šámalová, first author of “Hormone-regulated expansins – expression, localization and cell wall biomechanics in the control of Arabidopsis root growth”

Current Position: Assistant Professor, Department of Experimental Biology, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic

Education: Ph.D. in Plant Physiology

Non-scientific Interests: traveling, swimming, fungal forays

Brief bio:

During my Ph.D. I focused on basic research in Ian Moore`s laboratory at Oxford University at the Department of Plant Sciences. I participated in the development of one of the most sensitive, fast and tightly regulated chemically inducible systems, the pOp6/LhGR system, for model plant species (Arabidopsis, tobacco and rice). As a postdoc, we established a fluorescence toolkit for quantitative and qualitative ratiometric fluorescence imaging assays that have been successfully used in a number of endomembrane trafficking studies. Later, I shifted my interest to fungal research as we tried to develop strategies to combat the major rice pathogen Magnaporthe oryzea. I then switched to medical science at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, where we searched for a putative cure for aspergillosis, a fatal human disease, and identified a potentially suitable candidate gene for immunization therapy.

Finally, I returned to plant science, back to my alma mater, where I recently founded my own Laboratory of Plant Molecular Biology at the Masaryk University in Brno. Combining my expertise from various scientific fields, I focus on multidisciplinary research. Together with physicists, mathematicians and material scientists, we are developing new tools for imaging, probing and quantifying the biomechanical properties of plant cell walls. I also teach molecular and cellular biology of plants and train practical methods used for genetic modification of plants. I would like to apply my acquired knowledge and scientific experience in research and teaching in the Czech Republic to improve the quality of education and life of future generations.