Ten pioneering postdoctoral scientists from Latin America will each be awarded two years of funding to conduct research at laboratories and academic institutions in the United States. The 2017 fellows are from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico.
Among the selected fellows is Cesar Cuevas-Velasquez from the Dinneny Lab:
"The Dinneny lab explores the molecular mechanisms through which plants detect and acclimate to drought. When conditions are dry, plants rapidly activate a signaling program that allows them to conserve water. But little is known about how plants determine that water is scarce. I will develop tools for dynamically monitoring the water content inside living plant cells. Depletion of water can induce various stresses in plant cells—altering their ion balances, membrane tension, and cell wall integrity. Using an intracellular osmotic monitoring system, I hope to identify the proteins that sense these drought-induced changes and determine which genes they activate when water is in short supply. I will then inhibit the activity of these and other potential sensors and assess whether the plant’s response is disrupted—work that could add to our understanding of how organisms perceive and respond to their environment and lead to new strategies for improving the drought tolerance of crops. "
For more information on Pew Charitable Trusts and Pew Latin American Fellows, visit their website.