Mexican Academy of Sciences

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Urban Water

MAS in images 2016

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Dr. Georgina Hernández-Delgado

Dr. Hernández completed her undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate work in Basic Biomedical Research at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. She was a visiting postdoctoral fellow at Biotechnica International, Inc. in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She was also visiting researcher during a sabbatical year at the University of Minnesota and at the Max Planck Institute of Plant Molecular Physiology in Potsdam-Golm, Germany.


She has been a research fellow at the Center for Genomics (CCG), previously called the Center for Nitrogen Fixation Research, at UNAM since 1983. She was the Center’s President from 1997 to 2005 and Department Chair from 1992-1997. Dr. Hernández is currently responsible for the Functional Genomics of Eukaryotics Research Project at the Center for Genomics.


Dr. Hernández is a member of the National Research System (level II) and receives maximum level support from PRIDE (Performance Awards Program for Full Time Academic Personnel at UNAM). She is a member of the Mexican Academy of Sciences and the Academy of Sciences, Morelos, of which she was treasurer from 2002-2004. She has received an abundance of recognition for her work including the “PUAL Award for Formulating Food Research Projects, 1989” from UNAM, the Research Award in the field of Natural Resources from the National Polytechnic Institute (1994-1995) and the “Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz Prize” from the UNAM in 2004. She was also the dissertation and research advisor to the student who won the 2010 Doctoral Thesis AgroBio Award.


Dr. Hernández’s scientific research falls within the framework of molecular biology and genomics. She began her career researching the molecular biology of carbon and nitrogen metabolism in microorganism. After her postdoctoral fellowship, she began research in plant biology; particularly examining the molecular biology of the metabolism of nitrogen in plants and the symbiosis between legumes and nitrogen-fixing bacteria (rhizobia). To undertake her research, Dr. Hernández pioneered focal points in genetic plant engineering. With the advent of Genomic Sciences, her research has focused on the Functional Genomics of the Bean (Phaseolusvulgaris): rhizobia and abiotic stress responses. This bean is the most important existing legume for human consumption. Nevertheless, despite its agricultural significance, research into the bean’s genome had been abandoned. Dr. Hernández’s team has undertaken the task of bringing it to the foreground through their pioneering work on focal points such as the transcriptome, metabolomics and the genomic analysis of global regulators such as transcription factors and microRNAs in the bean. The aforementioned is within the framework of the international consortium of bean genomics: Phaseomics (Phaseolusgenomics) for which Dr. Hernández has engaged in coordination, promotional and organizational work.


Dr. Hernández’s scientific writing includes 41 articles published in prestigious, internationally indexed magazines, as well as 19 book chapters. Her work has been cited over 1,345 times (not including self-citations) in scientific literature. She has edited books, one international. Her scientific work and written contributions are heralded worldwide. She has received 55 invitations to speak at international conferences, and has organized and served on organizational committees for the most important congresses held in her field of expertise. From 2004-2010 she was a member of the Centre Advisory Board at the Centre for Excellence for Integrative Legume Research at the Australian Research Council. Most recently (2014) she was invited by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to be a member of the Advisory Panel for the Symbiosis, Defense and Self-recognition (SDS)-Plant Program.


Dr. Hernández has actively participated in teaching and teacher training. She was coordinator for the undergraduate degree in Basic Biomedical Research (UNAM, 1988.1992) and responsible within the CIFN/CCG for the Graduate Programs in Basic Biomedical Research 81993-1996) and the doctoral program in Biomedical Sciences (1997). The majority of her teaching work is now at the CCG: the bachelor’s degree in Genomic Science and the Ph.D. in Biomedical Science. Within these areas she continually teaches classes, research seminars, and select topics, while acting on tutorial committees, the admission committee and the doctoral candidature committee. Her work as mentor (and as a thesis advisor) has been extended to two Ph.D.s, two M.A.s and three B.A.s, and she is currently supervising three more doctoral students. The doctors who graduated under her tutelage are now researchers at UNAM and the Autonomous University of the State of Morelos.


Dr. Hernández has also worked with the press giving radio interviews, delivering lectures for the general public and publishing in magazines/newspaper to help divulge scientific findings. She received the State Research Merit Award in 2013 (Science Communication) presented by the Secretariat of Scientific and Technological Innovation for the State of Morelos, along with the nine other science editors of the book “La Ciencia de Morelos para el Mundo. Tomo III: Química, Física y Matemáticas.”