Nikita Bhatnagar, first author of Heterotrimeric G-protein interactions are conserved despite regulatory element loss in some plants
Current Position: Postdoctoral Research Associate at Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
Education: Ph. D. in Plant Biotechnology, Kyung Hee University, South Korea
Non-scientific Interests: hiking, travelling, photography
Brief bio: I got a Ph. D. degree in Plant Biotechnology working with Prof. Ki-Hong Jung and Dr. Beom-Gi Kim, where I characterized ABA signaling mechanisms during rice seed germination. I was also involved in functional annotation of unknown genes in rice. I moved to US and joined Dr. Sona Pandey’s Lab in Donald Danforth Plant Science Center as a Postdoctoral research associate. In my current position, I have been studying the role of G-protein signaling components and pathways in species such as Brachypodium and Setaria to identify features that are unique to monocots. Several aspects of G-protein signaling seem to differ between the dicot and monocot plants. As most of our food comes from various monocots, I am interested in characterizing pathways that affect the overall development and stress responses, which eventually affect grain yield. In future, I hope to contribute to food security through my research.