Juan Pablo Giraldo

Principal Investigator




Associate 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

Su-Ji Jeon

Postdoctoral researcher




Su-Ji earned her Ph.D. in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Hanyang University, Republic of Korea. Her research focuses on the synthesis of carbon-based nanomaterials and organic/inorganic hybrids for optical sensor for the detection of biomarkers and the investigation of their physical and chemical properties using various spectroscopic methods. For her doctoral work, she investigated functional nanomaterials for optical sensing and photocatalysis applications. Su-Ji's research currently focuses on studying and modeling the mechanisms of nanoparticle uptake in leaves and their use as sensors of plant signaling molecules.


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 chloroplast signaling molecules.

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.


Christopher Castillo

Ph.D Student

NSF Center of Sustainable Nanotechnology




Christopher received his B.S. in Biochemistry from California State University, Los Angeles where he researched lipid transfer proteins putatively involved in Arabidopsis programmed senescence mechanism. His Ph.D. research is focused on fundamental understanding of plant biomolecule interactions with nanoparticles such as the formation of nanoparticle coronas in Arabidopsis plants.


Undergraduate Students



Honhong Wu - Professor, Huazhong Agricultural University - 1000 Young Talents of China

Jinming Li - Professor, South China Normal University

Peiguang Hu - Senior Scientist, Westwood Biosciences


Ph.D. students

Jing An - Postdoctoral Researcher, South China Agricultural University


Undegraduate students

Colleen Ahern - Ph.D. student at UC Santa Barbara

Victoria Morris - Master's student at Brandeis University

Maquela Faulkner - Graduate student at Keck Graduate Institute

Mackenzie Fahlgren - Engineer at First Light Energy

Cristina Moreno-Borja - Graduate student at UC Riverside

Joshua Dansie  - Lab Operator at Bio Reliance

Nicholas Tito - Graduate 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.


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

Associate Professor

Email: juanpablo.giraldo@ucr.edu