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.

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 pests. 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.

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

 NSF Plants 3D Fellow '23-24

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 spent five years in industry at Cibus and Scripps Research. 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

Conor Murphy is a junior student at the University of California Riverside and is pursuing a degree in Biology. At the Giraldo Lab, Conor is researching different levels of cerium oxide nanoparticles and how they reduce reactive oxygen species and enhance photosynthesis in algae. He is interested in cancer research but keeps his mind open to other opportunities. His main goal is to get a PhD and eventually teach at a University


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 - 

Hye-In Kim - 

Bhaskar Sharma - Postdoc Researcher, University of California-Riverside

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

Undergraduate students

Nicholas Tito - Graduate student at William Carey School of Medicine

Colleen Ahern - PhD student at UC Santa Barbara

Eugene Young Kwon - PhD student at UCLA

Victoria Morris - Master's student at Brandeis University

Maquela Faulkner - Graduate student at Keck Graduate Institute

Cristina Moreno-Borja - Graduate student at UC Riverside

Joshua Dansie  - Lab Operator at Bio Reliance

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

Mackenzie Fahlgren - Engineer at First Light Energy

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

Claire Alford - Undergrad student at Santa Clara University

Marena C Rivera-Dopazo - Undergrad student at University of Puerto Rico, Cayey 

Qibo Xiang- Undergrad student at University of California- Riverside