My research program studies the host response to geminivirus infections. I have a strong undergraduate component to the research but also include graduate students. We collaborate with and support researchers in Tanzania and Kenya as well as Spain and Mexico. I am interested in the host responses, senescence, cell cycle, hormone responses to viruses and virus evolution. I studied Biology at Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara in México. I worked for about a decade at CINVESTAV in Mexico, an Advanced Research Institute where I studied plant biotechnology, viruses, viroids and bacterial interactions with plants and also transgenic plant field trials. I spent a year at Monsanto in Saint Louis and later had training on Biosafety in Italy. I did my PhD at NC State in the Biochemistry Department on Arabidopsis responses to geminivirus infection. At the moment I am engaged with projects trying to identify resistance genes to geminiviruses in Arabidopsis and also understanding the bottlenecks for virus evolution in cassava and whiteflies. I spend significant time in Africa, mainly in Tanzania as a consultant. I am also engaged in understanding the biological function of the sequences enhancing geminivirus symptoms (SEGS) in cassava and Arabidopsis. I like to read, travel, cook and play music.
José Trinidad Ascencio-Ibáñez