Jesús Beltrán, first author of Specialized Plastids Trigger Tissue-specific Signaling for Systemic Stress Response in Plants
Current Position: Postdoctoral Research Associate at The Pennsylvania State University
Education: BSc in Biology, MPhil in Biology, PhD in Biology-Plant Science
Non-scientific Interests: Parks, art, wildlife documentaries
Brief bio: My first research experience was at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in Colombia, working with tissue-specific gene promoters and understanding, as well as improving, provitamin-A accumulation in cassava roots. I started my doctoral studies in 2009, with Dr. Eleanore Wurtzel at The City University of New York, where I studied the mechanism of a carotenoid isomerase essential for carotenoid biosynthesis and pathway control in plants. I am conducting postdoctoral research with Dr. Sally Mackenzie, formerly at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and currently at The Pennsylvania State University. In her lab, my research focuses on understanding the spatio-temporal specializations of plastids for environmental sensing within the epidermis and the vasculature of plants. In parallel, I study the tissue-specific orchestration of stress, signaling, and chromatin-remodeling networks that emanate from these distinct plastids in the context of plant adaptation. This work is important for understanding how plants perceive abiotic stress and integrate response pathways even into the next generation.