Omar Arias Gaguancela: Plant Physiology First Author

Omar Arias Gaguancela, first author of “Fatty acid amide hydrolase and 9-lipoxygenase modulate cotton seedling growth by ethanolamide oxylipin levels”

Current Position:  PhD candidate in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, BioDiscovery Institute, Department of Biological Sciences, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, USA

Education:  MSc in Entomology and Plant Pathology, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA. BSc in Biotechnology Engineering, University of the Armed Forces – ESPE, Pichincha, Ecuador

Non-scientific Interests: Photography, exercise, watching documentaries and movies

Brief bio:  I am currently working towards finishing my PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in the Department of Biological Sciences at UNT under the supervision of Dr. Kent Chapman. My ongoing PhD research has focused on understanding how upland cotton utilizes fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and lipoxygenase (LOX) pathways to regulate the content of unsubstituted N-acylethanolamines (NAEs) and NAE-oxylipins. These lipids act as signaling molecules that have been associated with seedling growth modulation, thus extrapolating and expanding prior work made in the plant model Arabidopsis. In addition, part of my research has also been dedicated towards studying structural and functional characteristics of FAAH enzymes in legume species. My ultimate career goal is to utilize the scientific skills from my graduate studies towards research areas related to genetics, metabolomics and/or protein structure and function.