Kendal Hirschi Lab

Hirschi Lab Collaborators


The following researchers from the United States and around the world have collaborated with Dr. Kendal Hirshi on projects and publications. 


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Bronwyn Barkla

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Southern Cross University in NSW, Australia

I have collaborated with Kendal and co-workers for more than 15 years, publishing our first journal article together in 2003 on the cax1 mutant, having met while both attending the International Plant Membrane Biology Meeting when they were Ph.D. students. Bronwyn’s main area of research focuses on plant protein and small molecule biochemistry and she links this into abiotic stress tolerance in halophyte plants. She uses the innovative techniques of Free Flow Electrophoresis coupled to LC-MS/MS analysis to understand the changes to the proteome and metabolome under salt stress. Bronwyn is currently Director of Southern Cross Plant Science at Southern Cross University in NSW, Australia,


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Roberto Gaxiola

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Arizona State University

Kendal and I have been collaborating for more than 25 years; we started working together at MIT. Our scientific training has always centered on understanding how plants partition minerals and energy to regulate growth; back in Boston, we also did a lot of physical training (ask him why I ran the Boston Marathon and he did not!).  


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Joy Marshall

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Houston Community College

Joy L. Marshall, Ph.D. is a Professor of Biology. Her current academic duties are teaching General Biology and Microbiology at Houston Community College. Joy received her doctorate degree in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics from the University of Texas - Houston Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences working on gene expression of the cer operon in Rhodobacter sphaeroides in the laboratory of Dr. Samuel Kaplan. She pursued post-doctoral interest in plant biology in the laboratory Dr. Kendal Hirschi where her research in Dr. Hirschi's lab was supported by grants from the National Science Foundation. Dr. Marshall's collaboration with Dr. Hirschi has yielded several publications. 


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Xinli Li

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University of Houston

Characterizing the transport and activity of bioactives from plants could alter the way we implement both drug and nutritional therapies-thus my interest as a person in Pharmacology. Plant-derived exosome-like nanoparticles (ELNs), have been found to transport various lipids, proteins and RNAs. Plants use these ELNs to communicate  to microbes and fungi, which is consistent with a potential impact on the gut microbiome. Understanding interactions between ELNs in our diets and the consumer requires a systems-wide approach that includes lipidomics and proteomic approaches which my lab is capable of doing. My experience and skills complements the techniques Kendal’s lab employs.


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Sunghun Park

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Kansas State University

Park is an expert in gene transformation, gene functional analysis, and comparative genome-wide transcriptional profiling. During the past 20 years, Sunghun Park has worked with Kendal Hirschi on understanding redox-mediated plant adaptation mechanisms to abiotic stresses and increasing calcium concentrations in fruits and vegetables. Park has successfully established a genetic engineering system using Agrobacterium-mediated transformation in crop species to determine how the genome sequences cause plant phenotypes. Park is a professor at the Department of Horticulture and Natural Resources, Kansas State University. He has over 30 years of experience in plant tissue culture and genetic transformation of numerous plant species. Outside of the lab, Park enjoy s traveling to Galveston, Texas, to ocean fish.


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Tracy Punshon

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Dartmouth College

Tracy Punshon has worked with Kendal Hirschi for over a decade on selected calcium membrane transporters in plants, specifically the CAX genes (Calcium Exchangers) and COD5 (calcium oxalate deficient). Tracy specializes in elemental imaging, and their collaboration centers upon imaging the disruption in calcium distribution that occur in the various parts of plants lacking these genes, as a way of characterizing their function. Tracy uses synchrotron X-ray fluorescence and laser ablation-ICP-MS to do this imaging. Tracy is a researcher at Dartmouth and co-director of the Dartmouth Trace Element Analysis Core facility. Drs. Punshon and Hirschi are also close observers of the nature and efficacy of charming Australian actress Nicole Kidman’s skin care regimen.


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Jennifer Spinler

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Texas Children’s Microbiome Center

As an experienced classical microbiologist with extensive training in bacterial functional genomics and microbiome science, I am interested in learning more about how individual microbes beneficially impact the larger GI microbiome community and how these interactions impact host health. Kendal Hirschi and I have built a synergistic collaboration allowing us to investigate specifically how dietary bioactives and micronutrients impact microbial communities in the gut.