Recognizing Plant Cell authors: Ourania Lantzouni

Ourania Lantzouni, first author of GROWTH-REGULATING FACTORS interact with DELLAs and regulate growth in cold stress

Current Position: Seeking a new challenge.

Education: PhD studies at Technical University of Munich, Germany (2013- today); MSc Industrial and Commercial Biotechnology at Newcastle University, UK (2011-2012); BSc in Biology at National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece (2004-2011)

Non-scientific Interests: science news, cat breeding, gardening, sci-fi movies, Furtnerbräu

Brief bio: While growing up on the beautiful island of Skopelos in Greece, I was amazed by the different structures and diversity of the plant species around. Especially because these plants managed to grow and survive the very hot and dry summers, as well as the cold winters with strong winds. After l learned about DNA at school, I decided to pursue a Biology BSc course in Athens, Greece, which was followed by an MSc course in Industrial and Commercial Biotechnology, Newcastle, UK. I am interested in how DNA-encoded information is regulated to control and regulate plant growth and reproduction in response to the everchanging environment. In 2013, I started working on my PhD thesis at the Chair of Plant Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich, Germany under the supervision of Claus Schwechheimer. My research focused on how the plant growth-promoting hormone gibberellin controls gene expression at cold and ambient temperature conditions. I also looked into the molecular signaling interactions between the plant hormones gibberellin and strigolactone. During my PhD, I had the opportunity to take advantage of next generation sequencing approaches. I was actually the first person to use them in the lab. I could also actively participate in many interesting scientific events; a highlight was an oral presentation at the 22nd International Conference on Plant Growth Substances in Toronto, Canada. I first-authored two peer-reviewed publications (and have another publication submitted) and, at the moment, I am writing up my PhD thesis while I am searching for the next challenge.