Invited Speakers
Markita Landry

Nanoscale approaches for nucleic acid and protein delivery to plants

Markita Landry is an associate professor in the department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. She received a B.S. in Chemistry and a B.A. in Physics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a Ph.D. in Chemical Physics and a Certificate in Business Administration from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and completed an NSF postdoctoral fellowship in Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Her current research centers on the development of synthetic nanoparticle-polymer conjugates for imaging neuromodulation in the brain, to study lipid nanoparticle-cell membrane interactions, and for the delivery of genetic materials into plants. Markita is a member of the scientific advisory boards and a consultant for several major agricultural companies, and co-founder and CSO of Biophilia Genetics. She is a recent recipient of over 40 career awards, including awards from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the Schmidt Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, the DARPA Young Investigator program, the Beckman Young Investigator program, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the NSF CAREER award, is a Sloan Research Fellow, an FFAR New Innovator, and is a Chan-Zuckerberg Biohub Investigator.


Multiple scales and ways of plant-nanomaterial interactions

Zsuzsanna Kolbert is an associate professor at the Department of Plant Biology, University of Szeged, Hungary. She received her PhD in plant biology in 2009 and habilitated in 2017 at the University of Szeged. She visited Germany and Italy as a postdoc researcher. She examines plant responses to nanomaterials (metal oxides and carbon based nanoparticles) with special attention to reactive nitrogen species and nitrosative stress processes. Recently she began to study the abiotic and biotic stress ameliorating effects of reactive nitrogen species liberating nanomaterials. She has been a project leader in several national research projects. She has 68 peer reviewed journal publications and the number of her independent citations is over 1800. She is an editor of the Journal of Plant Physiology, Plant Cell Reports, guest editor in Journal of Experimental Botany, and editorial board member of journals like BMC Plant Biology, Plant Stress, Plant Nano Biology.
Zsuzsanna Kolbert

R Geetha Balakrishna

From Toxic Lead Perovskites to Eco-Friendly Double Perovskites: Innovations in Foodstuff Analysis and Medical Diagnostics

Prof. R Geetha Balakrishna obtained her doctoral degree from Bangalore University and has held various research positions at Notre Dame University, National University of Singapore, IRCELYON Catalysis Lab, France and JNCASR, Bangalore. She is presently the Director and Professor at Centre for Nano and Material Sciences, Jain University, Bangalore. Her research focus is on photochemistry and energy conversions in nanomaterials for photovoltaics, photocatalysis and optical sensing. She has published around 208 research papers, five patents of which three are granted and guided 14 students leading to Doctoral and 07 students leading to Post Doctoral degrees. She is also a founder and CEO of a spin off company called Greenchem Nano Pvt Ltd. Some of her recognitions include Dr Kalpana Chawla State Award 2020, SERB Power Fellowship 2024 for Outstanding Women Scientists, CRSI Bronze Medal  2023, MRSI Medal  2022 , Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Water Award (2nd Runner up in collaboration with Maithri Aquatech) 2021 for one of her technologies in Air to Water generator, elected as Fellow of Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC). She is also a Fulbright-Nehru fellow for Academic and Professional Excellence and holds honorary positions as Editorial Advisory Board Member of “ACS Energy Letters” and Editorial Advisory Board Member of “ACS Applied Engineering Materials”.


The influence of nanoparticles on selected aspects of plant development

Ewa Kurczyńska is a professor at the Plant Cell Biology Team, Institute of Biology, Biotechnology and Environmental Protection, Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Silesia in Katowice. Her research focuses on examining changes in the chemical composition of cell walls and symplasmic communication during cell differentiation in vivo and in vitro. Her research examines the influence of various factors on cell differentiation, including the impact of nanoparticles on plant developmental processes. In the presentation the results of research on the effect of gold nanoparticles will be presented on the example of two developmental systems. Changes in the chemical composition of cell walls and in symplasmic communication under the influence of nanoparticles will be presented on the example of barley root development, which represents the development of a monocotyledonous plant. The second system is somatic embryogenesis of Arabidopsis, a dicotyledonous plant, where the impact of nanoparticles on reprogramming cell differentiation process was examined.
Ewa Kurczyńska

Renata Szymańska

Nanoparticles: A Novel Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Approach for Enhancing Plant Growth

Renata Szymańska is an associate professor in the Group of Molecular Biophysics and Bioenergetics at the AGH University of Science and Technology in Krakow, Poland. She received her Ph.D. in biochemistry in 2011 from the Jagiellonian University (Faculty of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Biotechnology) and obtained her habilitation in 2017 from the University of Warsaw (Faculty of Biology). Her research focuses on plant responses to abiotic stresses (high light, drought, and nanoparticles), with a special emphasis on antioxidant metabolism (mainly vitamin E) and oxidative stress. Renata is a member of both international and national scientific societies. Renata has received several scientific awards. She has led four national research projects and has published over 55 scientific articles. Currently, she is conducting a project on the influence of nano silica on wine grapes. She also supervises the Micro- and Nanotechnologies in Biophysics student program at her home faculty.


Biocompatible nanofertilizers for improved delivery of essential plant nutrients in crops

Søren Husted is a professor in plant science at University of Copenhagen where he is leading the plant nutrition research group focusing on uptake, transport and assimilation of mineral ions and nanoparticles in plants. The research group works from the single cell level to field scale and has a strong focus on applying fundamental research in real world agriculture to improve the nutrient use efficiency of crops. He is currently coordinating the major cross-disciplinary research project on nanofertilization “BioComFert”, currently employing more than 20 scientists, funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation (2022-2027). Søren is elected board member of the International Plant Nutrition Colloquium (IPNC) and serves as subject editor for the well-reputed plant science journal “Physiologia Plantarum” established in 1947 and published by the Scandinavian Plant Physiology Society.
In the presentation he will show how biocompatible nanoparticles can be designed, synthesized and tailored to improve the uptake of phosphorus, both via the soil and via the foliage. Moreover, he will shown how nanotechnology can be used to reduce the risk of leaf scorching and improve the foliar uptake and mobility of micronutrients in crop plants to restore metabolic functionality. Bioimaging plays an important role in his research and a range of cutting-edge technologies, to study nanoparticles in plants, will be presented.
Søren Husted

Alejandro Pérez-de-Luque

Nanotechnology Reaches the Field: Advances and Challenges for Agriculture

PhD in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Córdoba in 2002, he has since worked as a scientist in various research centres and universities in Spain (IAS-CSIC, CIB-CSIC, IFAPA), Israel (Newe Ya’ar Research Center), and the United Kingdom (University of Sheffield), including the “Juan de la Cierva”, “Ramón y Cajal”, and “Marie Curie” programmes. In 2009, he secured a position as a Senior Researcher at the Institute of Agricultural and Fisheries Research and Training of Andalusia (IFAPA), where he is currently based. His research areas include the study of crop resistance and defence mechanisms against pathogens, nanotechnology applied to plant production and protection, and the effect of beneficial microorganisms on crops. He has been involved in more than twenty research projects and has published numerous scientific articles, as well as delivered presentations at conferences and invited talks.

Valorization of wastes through extraction and purification of plant metabolites using novel green solvents

João A. P. Coutinho is Full Professor at the Chemistry Department of University of Aveiro, Portugal where he is director of CICECO, one of the leading European Laboratories in Materials Science. He leads a multidisciplinary research team that focuses on the development of green solvents and novel separation processes for biorefinery and circular economy. Currently he strives to apply biobased solvents, DES and ionic liquids to these processes and attempts to better understand their physical-chemical behavior. He supervised over 55 MSc, 50 PhD thesis and 35 Post Doctoral Fellows and Junior Researchers, authored over 800-refereed papers (Scopus h-factor 98, > 40000+ citations) and 20 patents.
João A. P. Coutinho

Ajayan Vinu

Functional nanoporous materials for environmental applications

Prof. Ajayan Vinu is currently working as a Global Innovation Chair Professor and Director of Global Innovative Center for Advanced Nanomaterials at the University of Newcastle and made a significant contribution in the field of nanoporous materials and their application in energy storage, fuel cells, carbon capture and conversion, hydrogen technologies, catalysis and drug delivery. His contribution has led to ca. 530 papers with 34,200 citations and a H-index of 96, and more than 32 patents. He has been ranked number 1 (last 20 years) and number 7th (last 50 years) in Australia among the Top 2% scientists in the field of “Materials” as per the database created by the Stanford University in 2020, reflecting his high-quality research and research impact that he made in this field. The quality of his research has been recognised with several international awards including Asian Paints Padma Vibhushan Dr R A Mashelkar Medal 2023, CHEMCON Distinguished Speaker Award Endowment for Innovators and Science Leaders, 2023, Dr. Ghanshyam Srivastava Memorial Award (2021), Medal, Chemical Research Society of India 2018, SPARC award 2019, CNR Rao Lectureship award 2019. Medal and KY NIEM CHUONG Award 2018, Scopus Young Researcher Award 2014, Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel award by the Humboldt Society (2010), JSPS Senior Invitational Fellow 2014, Australian Future Fellowship 2010, Indian Society for Chemists and Biologists award for excellence 2010, Catalysis Society of India Young Scientist award 2010, Chemical Society of Japan Award for the Young Scientist 2008, and Laureate of Khwarizmi International Award 2008. Prof. Vinu is honoured with the Fellow of Royal Society of Chemistry, RACI, World Academy of Ceramics, World Academy of Art and Science, Indian Chemical Society, and Asia-pacific Academy of Materials. Prof. Vinu heads the Australia-Korea Center for Green Ammonia Integrated Power Generation.

Nanotechnologies in agroecosystems and their effects on Soil and Food Security

Luiz Roberto Guimarães Guilherme is Professor of Soil Chemistry/Environmental Toxicology at the Department of Soil Sciences, School of Agriculture, Federal University of Lavras (UFLA), Brazil. His early career work was dedicated to studies on the efficiency of fertilizer use to improve agricultural production, with positive effects on soil fertility, crop yields, and the economic sustainability of Brazilian agriculture. Currently, Luiz Guilherme's research/work has focused on the fate of trace elements in agroecosystems and mining areas, a topic of great socioeconomic/environmental importance in Brazil and in the world. Some of his recent work has addressed soil and food security issues, with emphasis on food quality/safety, as well as soil quality aspects related to trace elements in agroecosystems. Since 2015, Luiz Roberto coordinates the HarvestZinc Project in Brazil, an important initiative that reveals the viability of the fertilizer strategy and its great potential to alleviate micronutrient deficiency (with a particular focus on zinc, selenium, and iodine), positively impacting human health. Luiz Roberto's work on the fate of micronutrients and potentially toxic elements (e.g., arsenic, cadmium and lead) in tropical (agro)ecosystems helped farmers and policymakers with a series of standards/recommendations on the presence of these elements in soils and food in Brazil. Luiz Roberto is a member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences and currently coordinates the National Institute of Science and Technology on “Soil and Food Safety” an initiative of the National Council of Scientific and Technological Development of Brazil (CNPq).
Luiz Roberto Guimarães Guilherme

Sanna K. Nataraj

Sustainable Nanotechnology Practices in Environmental Applications

Prof. S.K. Nataraj is currently working as Professor at Centre for Nano and Material Sciences (CNMS), Jain University, Bangalore, India and Brain Pool Visiting Professor at Chonnam National University South Korea on Brain Pool Outstanding Overseas Scientist Fellowship. He obtained his PhD on ‘Membrane Based Separation Processes for Industrial Effluent Treatment’ in 2008 from Centre of Excellence in Polymer Science (CEPS), Karnatak University, Dharwad, India. Immediately after completion of PhD, he moved to Alan G MacDiarmid Energy Research Institute (AMERI), Chonnam National University, South Korea to pursue Postdoctoral Associate assignment (2007-2009) to work on Energy Materials. During 2009-10, he accepted a second assignment as Postdoctoral Associate at Institute of Atomic Molecular Sciences (IAMS), Academia Sinica, Taiwan to develop ion-exchange membranes for Fuel Cell applications. Further, he worked as Qatar University visiting fellow at Cambridge University (2010-11) and continued as full time Postdoctoral Research Associate (2011-2013) at Cavendish Laboratory, University Cambridge, UK. Later, he moved to India to work as DST-INSPIRE Faculty Fellow (2013-2015) at CSIR-CSMCRI, Bhavnagar where his main areas of research were to develop Sustainable Materials and Processes for Energy and Environmental applications including Supercapacitors, Fuel Cells, Membrane processes for wastewater treatment, Functional Nanomaterial-based devices for wastewater treatment and the value addition of bioresources.  Based on his achievements, he has been awarded as best researcher from Jain University for the year 2017 and has been admitted to prestigious as Fellow of Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC), London, UK.  SKN Serves as Associate Editor of AQUA - Water infrastructure, Ecosystems and Society (IF=4.3) and Editorial Board member of General Chemistry, Frontiers in Membrane Science and Technology, Current Indian Sciences and so on.
He teaches courses in Separation and Purification Technologies, Battery-Fuel Cells and Solid-State Materials at postgraduate level. A Quick Summary of Credentials: he has now Published >180 Research Articles, 14 US/PCT Patents, more than 25 Book Chapters, 3-Authored Books and 1 Edited Book to his credit. He has over 6400 Citations and serving as Editorial Board member for several Journals. His socially relevant works have been highlighted several magazines and news articles like Nature Asia, Outlook so on.
Prof. SKN has Appeared as Top 2% Researcher in the list issued by Stanford University.

Optical nanosensors to monitor plant health

Sebastian Kruss earned his Ph.D. in biophysical chemistry from Heidelberg University in collaboration with the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (with Prof. Joachim Spatz). Subsequently, he joined the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he conducted research on carbon nanomaterials and their spectroscopy (with Prof. Michael Strano). From 2015 to 2020, he led an independent research group at Goettingen University. He is now a professor of physical chemistry at Ruhr-Universität Bochum in Germany and also a head of (bio)imaging facility of ZEMOS, Center of Molecular Spectroscopy and Simulation of Solvent-Driven Processes. Additionally, he serves as a head of the Biomedical Nanosensors (BMS) group at Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems. His research areas include advanced photonics, fluorescence spectroscopy and microscopy, near-infrared techniques, novel materials, biosensors, and cell biophysics.
Sebastian Kruss