Sanbon Chaka Gosa: The Plant Cell First Author

Sanbon Chaka Gosa, co-first author of “Out of the blue: Phototropins of the leaf vascular bundle sheath mediate the regulation of leaf hydraulic conductance by blue light”

Current Position: Postdoctoral Research Associate in Prof. Andrew Leakey’s research group at the Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA.

Education: Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Plant Sciences with a focus on Molecular and Stress Physiology from the Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. B.Sc In Plant Sciences, Dilla University, Ethiopia.

Non-scientific Interests: Playing Ping-Pong and  biking.

Brief bio: From an early age I was exposed to farms and farming communities, and I enjoyed plants, but my interest was in human health. In the final year of my high school, I met a Plant Science graduate who was working for a non-governmental organization in collaboration with local Churches. He was giving a talk taking an example of how scientists in Israel changed a country which had been invaded by noxious weeds, received a little rain, into a leading exporter of fruits to abroad. Yes, his speech was intriguing. Later, I talked to him and had the opportunity to work with him as a data collector, which gave me an insight into drought-affected agriculture and how it impacts communities. This swayed me to study Plant Sciences and I joined Dilla University, Ethiopia. Right after graduation, from 2010-2014, I worked at the department of Plant Sciences at Madawalabu University, Ethiopia. Then I continued my journey to Israel, where my heart was, and completed my M.Sc. and Ph.D. at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, under Prof. Menachem Moshelion’s supervision. There I studied and researched focusing on three aspects of plant water relations:  Molecular-cellular level regulating the leaf hydraulics, whole-plant water balance, greenhouse-to-field prediction. It was such an incredibly enriching learning experience. Throughout this journey, I am grateful to all the mentors, colleagues, and peers who supported me along the way. At present, I’m in the USA researching genes with potential roles in regulating water use efficiency in C4 plants, and I’m eager to explore more stories on this topic.