Isaac Diaz

Seymour lab: My interest in synthetic biology stems from my desire to research translational plant biology, specifically agriculture-related. My family comes from a long line of Peñuelas, Puerto Rico farmers. They grew enough food to sell at local markets while providing enough for their large families. Because of this, I believe that farming is tightly bound to my culture. My first research experience was participating in Cornell University’s Summer Scholar Program. That interdisciplinary program allowed me to combine my interest in agriculture with research in an academic setting to unite plant biologists, plant pathologists, and entomologists to tackle the challenges faced in modern agriculture. That experience was one of the best of my life, and I seek the same type of experience from the collaborative environment fostered by the Plants3D program. I am interested in combating citrus greening disease, which has decimated the citrus industry in Puerto Rico and Florida. Particularly, the product-centric point of view in synthetic biology is very appealing to me. This perspective distills our research ideas by focusing them on designing a product that will meet the needs of consumers, as opposed to developing our fundamental understanding of a process.