New head of department at IPB investigates stressed plants
Professor Tina Romeis will head the Department of Stress and Developmental Biology at the Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry (IPB) in Halle an der Saale (Germany) on February 1, 2019, succeeding Professor Dierk Scheel. At the same time, she is appointed Professor of Biochemistry of Plant Interactions at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg.
Ms. Romeis studied biochemistry, organic chemistry and plant physiology at the Eberhard Karls University in Tübingen and graduated from the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology in Tübingen. After research stays in Munich and in the Sainsbury Laboratory at the John Innes Centre in Norwich (GB), she received the Sofia-Kovalevskaja Prize of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in 2001. With this highly endowed research prize, Ms. Romeis had the opportunity to establish herself as an independent group leader at the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Cologne. After her habilitation in Genetics and Molecular Phytopathology, she was appointed Professor at the Free University of Berlin, where she has been head of the Department of Plant Biochemistry since 2004.
Her research interests focus on the study of calcium-regulated protein kinases. These are enzymes that play a role in the activation of the plant immune system against pathogens and in the stress tolerance of plants to drought, cold or nutrient deficiencies. Under adverse circumstances, plants activate complex signaling cascades, which lead to the activation of defense and metabolic genes and thus the adaptation of the plants to the stress situation. As part of these signaling cascades, calcium-regulated protein kinases coordinate the interaction of many other enzymes and substances. The elucidation of this molecular signaling network, the finding and understanding of all factors involved, will also be a declared research goal of Ms. Romeis and her department at the IPB.
"For me, the IPB represents an ideal and complementary environment for my fascination and enthusiasm for exploring the molecular and biochemical foundations of plant biological processes," explains Professor Romeis. "We want to consider these fundamentals against the background of a possible application in agriculture or in the context of ecological relationships. I am particularly looking forward to the opportunities that result from the unique close links between plant biochemical research at IPB and the neighboring university’s agricultural sciences and Halle's renowned expertise in biochemistry, genetics and botany. "
At the IPB, the continuation of the plant stress topics under new aegis is expected with joy. "With her expertise, Professor Romeis fits perfectly into the research profile of the institute," says Managing Director Professor Steffen Abel. "We are very proud to have recruited this excellent scientist for the IPB."