Georgia Drakakaki – Principal Investigator


Georgia Drakakaki obtained her Ph.D. from the John Innes Center (JIC) UK and received her postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Natasha Raikhel at UC Riverside. She joined the Department of Plant Sciences in January 2010.

Her research focuses on endomembrane trafficking in plant cells, in particular how trafficking pathways control cell wall biosynthesis, polysaccharide deposition and plant stress response. Dr. Drakakaki’s group employs multidisciplinary approaches: chemical genomics (the use of small molecules), organelle proteomics and glycomics and genetics.

She mentors undergraduate, graduate students and post-doctoral researchers. She is a member of Plant Biology (PBGG) the Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology (BMCDB) and the Energy (EGG) graduate groups. She served as a trainer in the NSF CREATE- REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) training grant (2010, 2011, 2012) and is a mentor for CREATE IGERT PhD students. She is a Designated Emphasis in Biotechnology trainer and member of the UCD Energy Institute.

Fellowships, honors, and awards
2012    University of California Davis Hellman Fellowship

2014    Excellence in Education Award, finalist for the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

2016    Greek Diaspora Fellowship


PBI214                          Cell Walls                                     (FQ)
PLS100AL                    Plant Metab. Process Lab         (FQ)
PBI200B                       Cell/Developmental Biol.         (WQ)
PLS012/SAS12           Plants and Society                    (WQ)

Graduate Students

Destiny Davis

Destiny Davis (Plant Biology Graduate Group)

Destiny studies cytokinesis using high resolution microscopy, proteomics and genetics. In her studies she probes cytokinesis with Endosidin 7.

Awards: Plant Sciences GSR,  Jastro Shields research scholarship, Monsanto Biotechnology fellowship, Fellowship to attend the NAIST International Student Workshop.

Rosalie Sinclair (Plant Biology Graduate Group)

Rosalie studies spatial-temporal dynamics of callose in cell wall development during cytokinesis using interdisciplinary approaches including as high-resolution microscopy, chemical genomics and biophysics.
Awards: Plant Sciences GSR

Shuxiao (Susan) Zhang (Plant Biology Graduate Group)

Susan is interested in studying how plants respond to abiotic stress. She is currently researching mechanisms of root plasticity and salinity tolerance in woody plant species.


Michel Ruiz Rosquete

Michel obtained a PhD degree in Plant Development at the BOKU University of Vienna where he performed studies on the architecture of Arabidopsis thaliana root system.

Michel studies biosynthetic enzymes and trafficking proteins involved in the deposition of polysaccharides at the cell plate of dividing cells.

Visiting Scholars

Yuhang Shao, visiting student from Nanjing Agricultural University

She studies salinity tolerance in almond rootstocks.

Hongguang Pang, visiting student from Hebei Agricultural University

He studies post Golgi trafficking in plants.

Guangxi Ren, visiting Scholar from Beijing University of Chinese Medicine Beijing

He studies post Golgi trafficking with emphasis on the the role TRAPP proteins in plants

High School Students

Jake Brugger (Davis High School)

Undergraduate Students

Emily Mabry

Neije Mukherjee-Roy


Recent Graduate students:

Natasha WordenNatasha Worden (Plant Biology Graduate Group), currently Postdoc at the Timmermans Lab at the University of Tuebingen


Steve McDowell (currently faculty at Los Rios Community College)

Eunsook Park (currently at UCD)

Visiting Scholars

Alessandra Quartararo,  visiting student from University of Palermo. She studied salinity tolerance in pistachio

Yukun Cheng, visiting student  from the Sichuan Agriculture University. He studied salinity tolerance in almond rootstocks

Hou-Ling Wang,  visiting student from Beijing Forestry University. He studied post Golgi trafficking in plants

Wenlong Bao, visiting student from Beijing Forestry University. He investigated polysaccharide deposition into the plant cell wall

Angelo Herringer, Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro, Brazil, (2015, 2016)

Rachel Röhrich, University of Heidelberg, (2015)

Longjun Chen , Zhejiang Agriculture and Forestry University, China (2015, 2016)

Victor Esteva, University of Leida, Spain (2013, 2014)

Marta Miguet, University of Leida, Spain (2013)

Dechao Duan  (Zhejiang University, China) (2014)

High School Students

John Almazan (2016)

Emily Dickinson (2015)

John Glista (2014)

Undergraduate students
Nathan Jane (UCD) (2015, 2016), currently in Intrexon Corporation and applying to graduate school.

Sean Mackey (UCD) (2016)

Shannon Mayhew (UCD) (2016)

Marissa Huston (UCD) (2015, 2016)

Lester Huynh (UCD) (2016)

Juvenal Quezada (UCD) (2015)

Janine Holub (UCD) (2015)

Gurpreet Srai (UCD) (2014), currently in pharmacy school

Erin McGinnis (UCD) (2014)

Vikram Singh (UCD) (2013, 2014)

McKenzie Winter (UCD) (2013, 2014)

Thu Le (UCD) (2012-2013), currently in pharmacy school

Shawn Higdon (UCD) (2012-2013), currently in PBI graduate program at UCD

Alana Barton (UCD) (2012-2013)

Loan Luong (UCD) 2012

Katherine Wood UCD (SEEDS PLS program) (2012), currently at the graduate school at MSU.

Htwe Hlaing UCD (2011), currently  employed  at Genentech.

Kenneth Lam UCD (2011)

Megan Schmit Buffalo SUNY (2012)

Sanchia Mills Tuskegee University (NSF REU) (2011)

Laura Putnam, UCD (2010-2011)

Lyn Kwan UCD (2011)

Ilse Argueta, UCD (2011) UC San Diego School of Medicine

Navim Mobin UCD (2011)

Grace Kichio UCD (2011)

Lee Yang UCD (2011)

Maian Ngo, UCD (2010)

Dinusha Maheepala Mudalige (2010), UCD, currently in graduate school at UCR

Thao Nguyen, Consumnes River College (NSF REU) (2010)

Amy Wong, UCD (2010)