Juan Pablo Giraldo

Principal Investigator




Assistant Professor

Department of Botany and Plant Sciences


Faculty Member Affiliations

Material Science and Engineering program | Cell Molecular and Developmental Biology | Institute for Integrative Genome Biology | Center for Plant Biology | Microbiology


University of California, Riverside


Ph.D. Plant Biology - Holbrook Lab

Harvard University


NSF Postdoctoral Fellow in Nanobiotechnology -  Strano Research Group  Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Curriculum Vitae


Postdoctoral Researchers

Honghong Wu

Postdoctoral researcher

China Scholarship Council 1000 Young Talents Finalist




Honghong earned his PhD in Prof. Sergey Shabala's lab at the University of Tasmania, Australia. For his doctoral work, he investigated the role of cytosolic K+ retention, Na+ exclusion, and vacuolar Na+ sequestration in plant salinity tolerance at the tissue level. He is  studying the mechanisms of cerium oxide nanoparticles transport in leaves and their impact on plant tolerance to abiotic stress.


Research gate profile


Peiguang Hu

Postdoctoral researcher

Center of Sustainable Nanotechnology




Peiguang received his B.E. degree and M.S. degree in Materials Science from Shandong University in China.  He obtained his Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from the University of California, Santa Cruz under the supervision of Professor Shaowei Chen. His dissertation research focused on metal nanoparticle surface functionalization and their applications in fuel cell electrocatalysis. Currently, he is working on developing carbon based nanomaterials for targeted and controlled delivery of biomolecules in plants.

Graduate Students

Israel Santana

Ph.D Student

GAANN Fellow

Outstanding Teaching Awardee




Israel obtained his B.S. in Biochemistry from California State University Los Angeles where he investigated mechanisms that initiate plant senescence. At Washington State University, he studied protein-protein complexes in native rice seed endosperm that initiate starch metabolism. Currently his research focuses on using  nanoparticle-based tools for  targeted biochemical delivery in plants and to study the role of signaling molecules involved in chloroplast retrograde signaling.

Jing An

Joint Ph.D Student

China Scholarship Council  Fellow




Jing is a Ph.D. candidate in Prof. Zhaohu Li lab at the China Agricultural University. For her doctoral work, she is studying how Homeodomain-leucine zipper (HD-Zip) III transcription factors affect the control of cotton shoot apical meristem (SAM) and axillary meristems (AMs) development. She is interested in applying nanomaterial based carriers of micro RNAs for controlling HD-Zip III gene expression. Her goal is to effectively manipulate SAM and AM differentiation and development in mature cotton plants.

Gregory Newkirk

Ph.D Student

NDSEG Fellow




Gregory worked on immunotoxin production inside algal chloroplasts with the Mayfield lab while earning his B.S. from the University of California, San Diego. He studied the roles that algae has in our ecosystem, and as a source of unique proteins and lipids. His current research focuses on fusing microbiology with nanotechnology; augmenting microbes with nanoparticles and creating new ways to harness the power of microbial communities.


Undergraduate Students



Jinming Li - Professor, South China Normal University


Rotation Ph.D. students

James Eckhardt - UCR Botany and Plant Sciences, Ph.D. student

Ira Herniter - UCR Botany and Plant Sciences, Ph.D. student

Alex Rajewski - UCR Botany and Plant Sciences, Ph.D. student

Ivan Dimov - UCR Cell Molecular and Developmental Biology, Ph.D. student


Undegraduate students

Maquela Faulkner - Keck Graduate Institute

Mackenzie Fahlgren - Drafting engineer at First Light Energy

Cristina Moreno-Borja - Undergraduate Student at UC Riverside

Joshua Dansie  - Lab Operator at Bio Reliance

Nicholas Tito - Student at William Carey School of Medicine


Gail Garcia




Gail is a second-year chemistry student who has worked in the University of Pennsylvania at the department of pathology, interning for the Greene lab for two consecutive summers. Furthermore, she worked at the University of Washington with a focus on bioengineering antibodies and conducted research at Sandia National Laboratories with an emphasis on nanoporous palladium plating. When not working in the lab, she enjoys watching anime, playing the piano, and reading.


Victoria Morris




Victoria is a 4th year Plant Biology student who is part of the Center of Sustainable Nanotechnology research projects. She is testing the impact of foliar delivery of nutrients in nanoscale form on photosynthesis in crops. When not in lab, Victoria participates in the Science Ambassador program and enjoys cooking and dancing.

Pedro de Allende




Pedro is a first year Biology student interested  in algae biofuels. He is working on interfacing nanomaterials with algae to improve their photosynthesis and productivity. On his free time he enjoys playing chess, going for a run, or playing racquetball.


University of California, Riverside

3401 Watkins Drive, Batchelor Hall 1125 Riverside, California, 92521

Juan Pablo Giraldo

Assistant Professor

Email: juanpablo.giraldo@ucr.edu