University of Cambridge

Professor Julian Hibberd Julian is Professor of Photosynthesis at the University of Cambridge. His work has focused on identifying the ancestral role of C4 proteins in C3 plants and alterations to the regulation of genes encoding these proteins. Currently, his laboratory works on both dicot and monocot lineages that contain C3 and C4 species, and combines the use of synthetic biology, high throughput sequencing analysis and bioinformatics. Experiments are informed by phylogenetic reconstructions, and the long term aim is to better understand evolution of the complex C4 phenotype.


Sherif El SharnoubySherif El-Sharnouby Sherif is currently a postdoc in the Hibberd lab where he is using his past experience to shed light on the transcriptional regulation of chloroplast biogenesis, by performing cell type-specific analyses comparing mesophyll and bundle sheath cells. He did his PhD in Rob White’s lab at the University of Cambridge where he worked on the Drosophila spermatogenesis cell differentiation pathway and developed an experimental framework for genome-wide epigenetic profiling of individual cell stages of the Drosophila male germline.

Lei HuaLei Hua Lei is currently a postdoc in the Hibberd lab. He did his PhD in Prof. Chuanqing Sun’s lab at China Agricultural University, he identified and characterized a domestication gene controlling long and barbed awns in wild rice (Oryza rufipogon), the progenitor of cultivated rice (Oryza sativa). In Hibberd lab, Lei is investigating transcriptome and translatome of rice mesophyll and bundle sheath cells using Laser Capture Microdissection (LCM) and Translating Ribosome Affinity Purification (TRAP).

IvanphotoIvan Reyna-Llorens Ivan is currently a postdoc in the Hibberd Lab. He did his BSc and MSc at the National Autonomous University in Mexico, where he studied the role of abscisic acid in aluminium resistance in buckwheat. He then conducted his PhD in the Hibberd lab where he discovered DNA regulatory elements involved in cell-specific expression of multiple C4 genes. Ivan’s research uses synthetic biology and bioinformatic approaches to understand how genes are regulated in the ancestral C3 pathway and how that regulation changed when genes were recruited into the C4 pathway.