Foreign biologist's research made in Shanghai lab appears in Cell

Updated : 2020-09-07


Rosa Lozano Duran observes virus-infected plants. [Photo/WeChat account: sh_kjrc]

A Shanghai-based research team led by Spanish biologist Rosa Lozano Duran recently published their findings on plant defense mechanisms in the leading scientific journal Cell.

The research, which explores how plants defend themselves against threats from pathogens and how plant viruses respond to the defense mechanisms, could pave the way for plant immunity to pathogen-caused diseases, better ensuring high crop yields, according to Duran.

The team was made up of Chinese and foreign scientists at the Shanghai Center for Plant Stress Biology (PSC), part of the Center for Excellence in Molecular Plant Sciences (CEMPS) affiliated with the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

PSC values academic potential over certificates and titles, making it very attractive for young researchers, said Duran.

After finishing her postdoctoral work at the Sainsbury Laboratory in the United Kingdom, Duran started to set up her laboratory and team at PSC in 2015.

The young team managed to publish a paper in Cell within just five years, a remarkable achievement, and Duran said that PSC's advanced science facilities were crucial to their success.

One experiment in the paper requires direct observation of protein activity in the chloroplast under a confocal microscope, which PSC provided. Duran added that at PSC, even inexperienced researchers can complete experiments under the guidance of experienced technicians.

"Conducting research in Shanghai has proved to be a great opportunity for me," Duran said, "CEMPS is a global leader in botanical research. My colleagues from around the world are outstanding, and even though they come from different countries, I've experienced hardly any difficulties in communicating at work."

"The city is so safe that you don't need to worry about what time you return home, and it's easier to find Spanish food than in the United Kingdom," said Duran.