Recognizing Plant Cell first authors: Umarah Mubeen

Umarah Mubeen, first author of Target of Rapamycin inhibition in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii triggers de-novo amino acid synthesis by enhancing nitrogen assimilation

Current Position: Doctoral student Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology (MPIMP), Potsdam, Germany

Education: MS Industrial Biotechnology, Government College University Lahore, Pakistan

Non-scientific interests: Reading, movies, travelling

Brief bio:  During my masters I was fascinated by the upcoming research and developments in the field of micro-algal biotechnology. As an outcome of the preliminary studies to explore sustainable use of microalgae, I was among the 25 young scientists, recognized as Green Talents in 2013 by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Germany. To extend my skills in the field I pursued a PhD at MPIMP in the experimental systems biology group headed by Dr. Patrick Giavalisco. Over the course of my doctoral studies, I learned and optimized methods for high throughput extraction and analysis of different biomolecules. Apart from the methods optimization, the main aim of my project was to understand the growth signaling in Chlamydomonas, where we focus on immediate changes in the cellular processes upon Target of Rapamycin (TOR) kinase inhibition. For this purpose, we optimized the workflows for execution and analysis of 13C and 15N isotope labeling experiments in Chlamydomonas to explain how the fates of different metabolites change upon TOR inhibition.  Moreover, we are interested to capture dynamic shifts in post-translational state of the proteins upon perturbation in TOR signaling pathway. Currently, I am in the final stages of my doctorate and plan to further explore the regulation of growth signaling in photosynthetic organisms in the group of Dr Camila Caldana and Prof. Lothar Willmitzer.