Juan Pablo Giraldo

Principal Investigator


University of California, Riverside

Associate Professor

Department of Botany and Plant Sciences


Faculty Member Affiliations

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

Co-Investigator, NSF Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology

Ph.D. Plant Biology - Holbrook Lab, Harvard University

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


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.

Hye-In Kim

Postdoctoral researcher

Hye-In earned her Ph.D. in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Hanyang University, Republic of Korea. Her research focused on the Interface modulation of optical nanomaterials for the detection of disease biomarkers. She had deeply investigated the effects of surface modification, which can control the affinity between the nanomaterials and the target biomarkers. After she got her Ph. D. in 2020, she worked for the Korea Institute of materials science (KIMS) and developed a nanomaterial functionalized 3D scaffold to detect and inhibit an infectious bacterial proliferation in the field of artificial transplantation until joining this lab in Sep 2021. Hye-In's research currently focuses on studying and modeling the mechanisms of nanoparticle uptake in plants and algae and their use as sensors of plant signaling molecules.

Sandeep Sharma

Postdoctoral researcher

Sandeep has been a member of the Giraldo lab since February 2022. His current research interest lies in the fabrication of carbon based nanocarriers to control plant pathogens. Before joining Dr. Giraldo lab, he worked as a postdoc for a year with research focused on “Fabrication of halloysite nanotubes based nanocarrier for plant disease management” in Prof. Ester Segal lab at Technion-IIT, Israel. He received his Ph.D. degree (2015-2020) from Institute of Nano Science and Technology, Mohali-India, under the supervision of Dr. Vijayakumar Shanmugham. His Ph.D. research focused on the “Fabrication of Graphene-oxide based nanocarriers for agrochemicals delivery and to augment plant functions through nanobionics approach”. He received his M.Sc. degree in Biotechnology in 2012 from M.D. University and B.Sc. in Biotechnology from

Kurukshetra University- India in 2010.


Postdoctoral researcher

Bhaskar earned his Doctoral degree from the School of Life and Environment Sciences, Deakin University, Australia. During his doctoral studies, he worked on hydroxyapatite-based nanocarriers for agrochemicals/nutrients delivery to cereal grain crops. He also studied ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) and root-specific genes in plant physiological development and stress environment. He was a collaborator in the research projects focused on the structural and molecular characterization of proteins involved in disease pathogenesis (Malaria, Tuberculosis etc.). Bhaskar is currently engaged in the synthesis of biocompatible nanomaterials for nitrogen nutrient delivery to crops.

Graduate Students

Supreetha Sivaraj

Ph.D. Student

Supreetha received her B.S. in Technology-Biotechnology from St. Joseph's college of Enineering in India. Her current research focuses on studying nanomaterials for enhancing algae bioreactor photosythesis and CO2 utilization

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.

Marina Anderson-Youngblood

Ph.D. Student

Marina is a Plant Biology PhD student studying nanofertilizers and nanoparticle-mediated gene delivery in plants. She attained her BS in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of La Verne and graduate from their Honors Program. She entered industry for the next five years working at a lateral flow assay company Lumos Diagnostics, a plant biotechnology company Cibus then landing at Scripps Research Institute in the labs of Jamie Williamson and Danielle Grotjahn. There, she used cryo-electron microscopy to study bacterial ribosomes. Marina is a San Diego native and loves to rock climb, garden and spend time with her family and cats. 

Undergraduate Students

Connor Murphy

Undergraduate Researcher


Qibo Xiang

Undergraduate Researcher



Visiting scientists

Liza Rogers - Assistant Professor, Arizona State University


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

Jinming Li - Professor, South China Normal University

Peiguang Hu - Senior Scientist, Westwood Biosciences

Md Reyazul Islam - 

Ph.D. students

Leticia Meza - NSF SBIR Innovative Postdoctoral Entrepreneurial Research Fellow

Jing An - Postdoctoral Researcher, South China Agricultural University

Israel Santana - Postdoctoral Researcher, Genentech

Gregory Newkirk - Scientist III, BASF

Undegraduate students

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 -  Senior R&D Laboratory Support Technologist at Sandia National Laboratories

Alejandro Rivera-Madera - University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus

Claire Alford - Undergrad student at Santa Clara University

Colleen Ahern - PhD student at UC Santa Barbara

Eugene Young Kwon - PhD student at UCLA

Marena C Rivera-Dopazo - University of Puerto Rico, Cayey