Christian Danve Castroverde wins NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship

  • Nov 5, 2018
  • He lab, awards
  • Future Scientists, Nonfeature News Story
  • By Igor Houwat

Christian Danve Castroverde, a post-doc in the lab of Sheng Yang He, has won a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Postdoctoral Fellowship. The fellowship provides $45,000 of financial support per year for two years.

The NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship aims to aid, “the most promising Canadian researchers in natural sciences and engineering at a pivotal time in their careers. This support allows fellows to seek out the best research programs in their chosen fields, both within Canada and abroad.”

"I am very delighted and feel honoured to be awarded the NSERC postdoctoral fellowship!” Danve said. “I will be able to continue pursuing innovative research here at Michigan State University and further develop myself professionally. It is definitely a privilege to have these opportunities from both MSU and NSERC. Hopefully, I could contribute to the advancement of our understanding of fundamental mechanisms in plant biology, and deliver long-lasting solutions for the benefit of society."

Danve
Christian Danve Castroverde
MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory, 2018.

Plant diseases, which are a major threat to global food security, are profoundly influenced by environmental conditions. Because the molecular mechanisms behind these diseases are poorly understood, Danve aims to address this important knowledge gap. Recently, research from the He lab showed that higher temperatures enhance disease in Arabidopsis plants by suppressing the plant’s salicylic acid (SA) production and signaling.

“My current research is to elucidate the mechanisms on how elevated temperature sensing leads to loss of SA accumulation and SA-mediated immunity,” Danve added. “Once I identify key temperature-sensitive points, I plan to use this knowledge to rationally engineer plants that can recover SA levels and immunity at elevated temperatures.”

Sheng Yang He, Danve’s mentors, said, “Danve wrote a compelling proposal and I am so happy that he received the fellowship. This award will allow him to explore how climate conditions influence plant defense responses. This is an exciting and timely research topic and, for a new postdoc, a great area to carve a niche towards research independence. I look forward to assisting Danve in his research and training over the coming years.”

Danve obtained his BS in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at the University of the Phlippines and his MSc and PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Guelph, Canada. Danve is currently a member of both the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory and the Plant Resilience Institute.