Maryam Raeeszadeh-Sarmazdeh

Maryam Raeeszadeh-Sarmazdeh joined the University of Nevada, Reno in July 2019 as an assistant professor. Dr. Sarmazdeh was a senior research fellow in the Department of Cancer Biology at Mayo Clinic, Florida from 2017 to 2019 at Dr. Radisky’s lab, during which her work was focused on engineering novel protein-based therapeutics based on natural enzyme inhibitors. Prior to her appointment at Mayo Clinic, she was a postdoctoral scholar at the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department at the University of Delaware at Prof. Wilfred Chen’s lab for 2.5 years. Dr. Sarmazdeh earned her Ph.D. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville under Prof. Eric Boder’s supervision. There, her research was focused on generating site-specific protein immobilization on the surface and protein engineering using yeast surface display and directed evolution.

Dylan Kosma

Dr. Dylan Kosma is a Plant Physiologist & Molecular Geneticist.  He is an Assistant Professor in the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources, University of Nevada, Reno.

The aerial organs of all higher plants are covered with a lipid-rich cuticle that serves to protect plants from their environment. The cuticle is comprised of a lipid polymer, cutin, that is embedded and covered with aliphatic waxes. Suberin is a biosynthetically-related lipid polymer that is found in tree bark, seed coats, the surface of mature roots and surrounding the vasculature of young roots. Suberin production is a ubiquitous response to wounding. Collectively, cutin and suberin comprise the most abundant, naturally occurring lipid polymers on the planet. It is estimated that leaf cuticles alone represent a surface area twice that of the earth’s land surface.

The Kosma lab is focused on understanding the complex plant lipid polymers cutin and suberin. We use a multidisciplinary approach combining biochemistry, analytical techniques and molecular genetics to comprehend the macromolecular structure and functional significance of these polymers with an emphasis on their role in plant tolerance to abiotic stress.