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EDUCATION: Ph.D. Microbiology, 2008 University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin. Microbiology Doctoral Training Program. Thesis title: “Role of Ralstonia solanacearum oxidative stress response in virulence” Thesis advisor: Caitilyn Allen
M.S. Bacteriology, 2004 (Non-thesis program) University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin
B.S. Microbiology, 2001 University of Puerto Rico-Humacao, Humacao, Puerto Rico
ACADEMIC APPOINTMENTS: January 2010- Present NSF Postdoctoral Fellow Department of Microbiology, University of Georgia Project title: “Role of methionine sulfoxide reductases in the oxidative stress response of Vibrio fischeri and symbiotic relationship with Hawaiian Bobtailed squid.” Advisor: Eric V. Stabb
January 2009 – December 2009 Postdoctoral Associate Department of Plant Pathology, University of Florida Project title: “Type I secretion in Xylella fastidiosa” Advisor: Dean W. Gabriel
November 2003 - December 2008 Graduate Research Assistant Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology Doctoral Training Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison
January 2002 - August 2003 Research Assistant Department of Bacteriology, University of Wisconsin-Madison Advisor: Marcin S. Filutowicz
TEACHING EXPERIENCE: • 2008, Graduate Teaching Assistant, Plant Pathology 123: Plants, parasites, and people. Dept. of Plant Pathology, University of Wisconsin-Madison (Non-majors course; received excellent student evaluations.) • 2005, Graduate Teaching Assistant, Bacteriology 324: Food Microbiology Laboratory. Dept. of Bacteriology, University of Wisconsin-Madison. • 2005, Graduate Teaching Assistant, Bacteriology 102: General Bacteriology Laborarory, Dept. of Bacteriology, University of Wisconsin-Madison (Non-majors course) • Teaching coursework (http://scientificteaching.wisc.edu/ ): • Inquiry-based biology teaching (Scientific Teaching). Part of the HHMI Teaching Fellows Program. Collaborated in the development and assessment of educational Podcasts; http://scientificteaching.wisc.edu/materials/molecularbiology.htm • Writing Across the Curriculum workshop. Developing evaluation criteria for writing assignments.
MENTORING EXPERIENCE: • 2011, Undergraduate biology research (BIOL 4960), University of Georgia • 2011, Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program, Microbiology Department, University of Georgia. • 2007 and 2006, Summer Symbiosis Program, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Wisconsin-Madison. • Mentoring coursework: • 2011, 2007, and 2006 “Entering Mentoring” seminar.
HONORS: 2010, Carl Storm Underrepresented Minority Fellowship, Gordon Research Conference. 2009, Minority Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biology, National Science Foundation. 2007, Vilas Travel Fellowship, competitive grant, University of Wisconsin, Madison. 2006, Vilas Travel Fellowship, competitive grant, University of Wisconsin, Madison. 2005, The Arthur Kelman Award and APS Council Award, competitive award, American Phytopathological Society.
PUBLICATIONS: Flores-Cruz, Z. and Allen, C., 2011. OxyR is necessary for hydrogen peroxide resistance and full virulence in Ralstonia solanacearum. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 77(18): 6426-6432.
Zhang, S., Flores-Cruz, Z., Kumar, K., Hopkins, D.L., Gabirel, D.W., 2011. The Xylella fastidiosa biocontrol strain EB92-1 genome is very similar and syntenic to Pierce’s Disease strains. Journal of Bacteriology. 193(19): 5576-5577.
Zhang, S., Flores-Cruz, Z., Zhou, L., Kang, B., Fleites, L., Gooch, M.C., Wulff, N.A., Davis, M.J., Duan, Y., and Gabriel, D.W. 2011. Ca. Liberibacter asiaticus carries an excision plasmid prophage and a chromosomally integrated prophage that becomes lytic in plant infections. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions. 24(4):458-468.
Flores-Cruz, Z. and Allen, C. 2009. Ralstonia solanacearum encounters an oxidative environment during tomato infection. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions. 22(7):773-782.
Flores-Cruz, Z. and Allen, C., 2008. OxyR, a regulator of the hydrogen peroxide stress response in Ralstonia solanacearum is necessary for full virulence on tomato plants. (Abstr.) Phytopathology. 98:S54
Gabriel, D.W., Allen, C., Schell, M., Denny T.P., Greenberg, J.T., Duan, Y.P., Flores-Cruz, Z., et. al., 2006. Identification of open reading frames unique to a select agent: Ralstonia solanacearum Race 3 Biovar 2. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions. 19(1):69-79.
Flores-Cruz, Z., and Allen, C., 2006. Characterization of an in planta induced peroxidase gene of Ralstonia solanacearum. (Abstr.) Phytopathology. 96:S36.
Flores, Z. and Allen, C., 2005. Genetic basis for biovar differences in Ralstonia solanacearum strains revealed by comparative genomic analysis. (Abstr.) Phytopathology. 95:S30
Gabriel, D., Allen, C., Schell, M., Denny, T., Jean, G., Huang, Q., Presting, G., Norman, D., Flores, Z., et. al. 2005. Identification of ORF’s unique to a Select Agent: Ralstonia solanacearum Race 3 biovar 2. (Abstr.) Phytopathology 95:S32.
PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS AND ACTIVITIES: International Society for Microbial Ecology American Phytopathological Society American Phytopathological Society - Caribbean Division American Society for Microbiology International Society Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions CienciaPR
2011 Laboratory host for Project GRAD at UGA. http://uga.edu/diversity/events/detail/project_grad_at_uga/ 2011 Judge for the 63rd Georgia Science & Engineering Fair. 2008 Co-moderator of the oral paper session “Bacteria: Molecular, Cellular Biology II”, American Phytopathological Society Centennial Meeting. Minneapolis, MN, USA. 2006 Student Advisor, Microbiology Doctoral Training Program, Advising Committee. 2005- 2008, American Phytopathological Society, Bacteriology Committee. 2005, Roundtable Facilitator, Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP) Conference, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
SPECIAL AUTHORIZATIONS: USDA-APHIS authorization of work with listed Select Agent plant pathogen Ralstonia solanacearum Race 3 bv 2 and completion of associated Department of Justice background check.
LANGUAGES: Bilingual Spanish/English
Las relaciones microbio-hospedero son mejores descritas como un continuo de distintos tipos de interacciones, en vez de ser meramente interacciones beneficiosas o patogenicas. Mi trabajo de investigacion se basa en estudiar los sistemas de defensa de estres oxidativo bacterianos y su rol en las interacciones microbio-hospedero.
Role of methionine sulfoxide reductases in the oxidative stress response, luminescence, and symbiotic interaction of Vibrio fischeri with the Hawaiian Bobtail squid Euprymna scolopes.
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