Expert Details

Expert in Plant Cell Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Bioenergy, Algal Biotechnology, Biomass Processing

Expert ID: 730633 United Kingdom

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Expert has a strong track record at internationally competitive level in plant cell molecular biology and biochemistry, mass spectrometry and proteomics, gene discovery and post-genomic systems biology and development of analytical techniques, achieved over 16 years of leading projects in the academic sector in the UK. She is an author of over 30 peer-reviewed research papers, reviews and book chapters and an invited speaker and experienced lecturer at international and national-level conferences in plant biology and analytical method developments for single-cell analysis. Her work included pioneering of single-cell biochemical and proteomic analysis; carbohydrate metabolism and resource allocation at cellular level in plant leaves; discovery and characterization of glucosinolate-accumulating S-cells in Arabidopsis; revelation of nuclear protein dynamics in response to hypoxia. Exploiting post-genomic approaches, she characterized genes encoding important cell cycle regulators and developed a protocol for high-throughput protein expression and localization in plant cell cultures using transient expression of GFP-ORF fusions; developed a system for expression of selected constructs under ethanol-inducible promoter, to confirm protein function by analysis of cell cycle and growth of synchronized transgenic cell cultures. She supervised PhD, MSc and final-year project students, was a member of departmental interview panels and line manager of research staff. She is a member of scientific societies: Society for Experimental Biology, British Society for Cell Biology, and British Society for Mass Spectrometry. A number of her successful grant applications for personal and collaborative research projects led to leading and/or management of academic and industrial programs funded by The Royal Society, British Mass Spectrometry Society, British Heart Foundation, and EU FP7.
Her technical expertise portfolio includes: molecular biology techniques (gene cloning, genetic engineering, transgenic plants, expression analysis, RNAi screening), recombinant protein expression and purification by a variety of approaches, (SDS/LDS PAGE, DIGE), affinity purification of proteins by FPLC; knowledge of protein chemistry and structure and bioinformatics tools; protein characterization by mass spectrometry and proteomic analysis of complex samples by LC-MS/MS and MALDI-TOF MS; mass spectrometry and MALDI MS imaging; imaging by electron microscopy, confocal microscopy, fluorescence microscopy; carbohydrate chemistry and analytical techniques, enzymatic assays; cell biology (animal and plant cell cultures, flow cytometry), and microbiological techniques.
From 2011, she has taken the challenge of developing new technologies for bio-fuel production in the industrial biotechnology in an industrial environment, which recently resulted in a successful patent application for a novel biomass extraction process. Her current scope of research includes bio-energy and bio-fuels sector, ranging from Generation 1 bio-fuels (corn ethanol plants in the US), to Generation 2 (Anaerobic Digestion for biogas production) and to Generation 3 (algae-derived bio-fuels and valuable products). In parallel, she co-supervises an academic bio-medical research project in one of the leading universities in the UK; continues to be a member of the UK Research Councils Referee Panel, reviewing grant applications; and is a peer reviewer for international journals including PLoS ONE, Plant Journal, New Phytologist, Mol. Biol. Cell, AjPP.

Peer review of grant applications for BBSRCPeer review of grant application for EPSRCPeer review of research articles for for international journals including PLoS ONE, Plant Journal, New Phytologist, Mol. Biol. Cell, AjPP.


Year Degree Subject Institution
Year: 1994 Degree: PhD Subject: Plant Biology Institution: Institute of Plant Physiology, Russian Academy of Sciences
Year: 1986 Degree: MSc/BSc Subject: Plant Biology Institution: Moscow State University

Work History

Years Employer Title Department
Years: 2011 to 2013 Employer: Pursuit Dynamics plc Title: Senior Scientist Department: Product Development
Working in a capacity of a Scientific Consultant and/or a Project Manager on a number of industrial biotechnology projects related to biofuel production, she had a primary role in initiation and supervision of technology development projects, revision of reports and patent applications, technical feasibility assessments and budget forecasts, and an advisory role for establishing of new contacts with external clients and negotiation of contracts. She obtained EC FP7, ERDF and TSB UK external funding grants for research projects.
Years Employer Title Department
Years: 2006 to 2010 Employer: University of Reading Title: Senior Research Fellow Department: School of Biological Sciences
Initiated and successfully completed 5 research projects, resulting in publication of 10 scientific papers with high-impact factor. Supervised and trained research staff and students.
Years Employer Title Department
Years: 2001 to 2006 Employer: John Innes Centre Title: Senior Research Scientist Department: Cell and Developmental Biology
Leading small research team, she completed two research programmes, resulting in publication of 5 scientific papers with high-impact factor; supervised PhD, MSc and foreign exchange students; was a member of departmental interview panel; line manager of research assistants.
Years Employer Title Department
Years: 1995 to 2001 Employer: University of Wales, Bangor Title: Postdoctoral Fellow, Research Officer Department: School of Biological Sciences
She has carried out original research in carbohydrate metabolism and resource allocation, developed new single-cell techniques, supervised and trained research staff and students, managed international collaborations and established a national-level research network.
Years Employer Title Department
Years: 1987 to 1995 Employer: Russian Academy of Sciences Title: Research Scientist Department: Institute of Plant Physiology
She has established biophysical research programme on developmental dynamics of turgor pressure, membrane hydraulic conductivity and cell wall volumetric elastic modulus in sugar beet cells, using single-cell pressure probe technique. She has accomplished PhD programme and thesis while on the job.

International Experience

Years Country / Region Summary
Years: 1987 to 1995 Country / Region: Russia Summary: She held a position of Research Scientist at the Institute of Plant Physiology, Russian Academy of Sciences and carried research programme focussed on physiology, biochemistry and biophysics of sugar accumulation by sugar beet cells.
Years: 1999 to 1999 Country / Region: Germany Summary: She has been a visiting scientist at the KFA research centre in Julich, evaluating use of stable isotopes for trace analysis of relocation of nutrients in plant tissues.
Later, she had a collaboration project at the University of Wurzburg studying the role of potassium ion channels in regulation of sugar transport/carbohydrate metabolism in plant tissues.
Years: 1999 to 1999 Country / Region: New Zealand Summary: She had a collaboration project at the HortResearch Institute, studying long-distance transport of sugars and pioneering single-cell analysis of phloem cell sap in Arabidopsis plants.
Years: 2011 to 2011 Country / Region: USA Summary: She led pilot-scale trials with biomass processing for Gen3 biofuels production.
Years: 2012 to 2012 Country / Region: USA Summary: She has evaluated potential for new technological application for Gen1 biofuels production and provided advice for its optimisation.

Career Accomplishments

Associations / Societies
Society for Experimental Biology, British Society for Cell Biology, British Society for Mass Spectrometry.
Awards / Recognition
Research Grants and Awards:
2012 - FP7 EU consortium grant for research on biopolymers from algae. She has negotiated the project agreement and manages the project on behalf of her company.
2011 – LC-KEEP trust (ERDF) grant for research on new technology for Gen3 biofuels.
2011 - British Heart Foundation, received in January 2011, which she received as the Principal Applicant, and currently co-supervises Research Scientist working on the project “Stress-induced post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression by the Exon Junction Complex in cardiac myocytes”.
2010 - British Mass Spectrometry Society – she received grant for a summer student project: "Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionisation (MALDI) Mass Spectrometry Imaging of Plant Defence Metabolites".
2010 - Institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research - she receive a Research Development Award for a project "The role of Exon Junction Complex protein eIF4A-III in the early response to hypoxia and mechanical stress in cardiac myocytes and fibroblasts".
2008, 2009, 2010 - University of Reading - research travel grants
2001 - Society for Experimental Biology – grant for a workshop in Portugal.
1999 - The Royal Society (£3,000) – collaboration research grant for visit to New Zealand and Australia
Publications and Patents Summary
She has published 28 peer-reviewed research articles and 7 reviews and book chapters in plant biology and analytical methods, 1 patent on industrial biotechnology application.

Language Skills

Language Proficiency
Russian Her native language is Russian.
German She can read technical literature in German.

Fields of Expertise

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