Recognizing Plant Direct authors: Carla S. Santos

Carla S. Santos, first author of A combined physiological and biophysical approach to understand the ligand-dependent efficiency of 3-hydroxy-4-pyridinone Fe-chelates

Current Position: Post-Doctoral Researcher at Universidade Católica Portuguesa, CBQF – Centro de Biotecnologia e Química Fina – Laboratório Associado, Escola Superior de Biotecnologia

Education: PhD in Biotechnology, Universidade Católica Portuguesa

Non-scientific interests: cooking, books, and music

Brief bio: I started my scientific career in 2010, studying plant pathology and the molecular responses behind plant defence. During my PhD in Biotechnology (finished in 2017), developed at PlanTech Lab (, Universidade Católica Portuguesa, I have focused on plant nutrition and metabolism, specifically looking at physiological and molecular markers for iron deficiency chlorosis (IDC). My thesis was the perfect opportunity to establish a new collaboration with a research group, Chel2life (, working in bioinorganic chemistry at LAQV-REQUIMTE, Universidade do Porto. The group designs molecules to be used in novel therapeutic strategies to fight infection, iron overload and diabetes, but never in the field of Plant Science. Under this collaboration we started to use their Fe-chelates to treat IDC and concluded they can serve as more sustainable alternatives to the existing synthetic fertilizers. Currently, I am working as a Postdoc researcher in H2020 SFS-26-2016 (727973): TRUE project, studying the characterization of different legume germplasms towards more sustainable agricultural practices.