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Dr Joe McKenna

Job Title
Research Fellow
Life Sciences
02476 522586
Research Interests

I am a cell biologist and use microscopy to determine how plant cells organize themselves. In order to harness the potential of plants to tackle the grand challenge of food security we must first understand how they function at the cellular level.

The plant vacuole is a phenomenal organelle. It takes up most of the space in the plant cell and provides a resource efficient method of generating the morphological diversity we see between plant species. Moreover, seed plants contain a specialized vacuole, the protein storage vacuole (PSV). This vacuole is the main repository of protein in seed plants. Previous work in the Frigerio group has shown that the PSV forms from a precursor embryo. But what mechanistic process induces PSV formation and maturation?


2004-2008 University of Birmingham, BSc (Hons), Biological Sciences

2008-2009 Imperial College London, MRes, Plant Molecular Biology & Biotechnology

2009-2013 Imperial College London, DPhil

Fellow of the Royal Microscopical Society (FRMS)

Member of the British Society of Cell Biology (BSCB)

Title Funder Award start Award end
A broadly accessible facility microscope to probe nanoscale cellular dynamics by combined live cell super-resolution microscopy and photomanipulation (BBSRC ALERT 2021) BBSRC 01 Aug 2022 31 Jul 2023

Research Themes:

Plant & Crop Science