Dr. Hagi Kohay Va’adia BARD postdoc at Carnegie Mellon University’s Civil and Environmental Engineering program. He is studying ways to efficiently deliver agrochemicals to plants
What is the main focus of your postdoc work?
I’m studying the interactions between nanoparticle and plants with an applicative goal to deliver agrochemicals to plants in higher efficiency. In order to internalize and translocate in plants, nanoparticles need to pass a few stages: penetrating the cuticle, crossing cell wall and plasma membrane and moving from cell to cell in case of systemic movement. To achieve that, the nanoparticles are carefully designed in terms of size, charge, and surface chemistry.
What got you interested in studying nanoparticles chemistry implications for agricultural practice?
I studied for a bachelor’s degree in a biology-oriented department (plant protection). I graduated in the department of soil and water in which my research focused on surface chemistry and materials’ characterisation. One of my projects during the PhD at Yael Mishael‘s lab (Hebrew university) was related to drug delivery systems. I found this topic very interesting and since then I started looking for opportunities to integrate between nanoparticles synthesis and plants. I believe the there is great potential and interest in combining between these two areas.
What are your plans once you complete your postdoctoral work?
I hope to be able to integrate in one of the universities or research institutes in Israel.
What tip would you give someone just beginning a career in agricultural research?
I would recommend trying to ask questions regarding topics that can make a big impact and to connect with researchers who succeed in doing so. The second tip is to conduct research in more than one lab and to expose yourself to studies from different research areas.