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Education

Ph. D. 2015 Plant Biology, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ.

  • Dissertation: ‘Next generation sequencing to study organelle genome and function’.
M. Sc. 2007 Biology, Plant biology specialization, Eotvos Lorand University, Faculty of Science, Budapest, Hungary.

Employment

May 2016-present NIH T-32 Postdoctoral Fellow: Department of Plant Biology and Pathology, SEBS, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ. Mentor: David Ribnicky, Ph. D.

  • Development and characterization of nutritionally enhanced lettuce lines to combat metabolic syndrome.
2015-2016 Postdoctoral Scholar: UC Berkeley – Dept. of Plant and Microbial Biology. Mentor: Anastasios Melis, Ph. D.

  • Metabolic engineering of tobacco terpene synthesis by nuclear and chloroplast transformation.
2007-2015 Ph. D. Student: Rutgers University, Plant Biology Graduate Program. Mentor: Pal Maliga, Ph. D.

  • Experimental reconstruction of horizontal transfer of organellar DNA in graft tissue.
  • Identification of a mitochondrial gene that co-segregates with cytoplasmic male sterility in tobacco.
  • Discovery of intra-species structural variation in the plastid genome of barrel medic (Medicago truncatula) lines.
  • Discovery of identical cytoplasm in independently isolated male sterile CMS-T maize lines.

Teaching Experience

  • Teaching Assistant – Office of Undergraduate Instruction, Division of Life Sciences, Rutgers University.
    • Fall 2013 – Spring 2015 – Genetics:
      • Three sections of a 55-minute recitation per week with 24 students in each section.
    • Fall 2012 – Spring 2013 – General Biology:
      • Two sections of a 180-minute lab per week with 24 students in each section.

Awards

  • May 2016 – Present. NIH T32 Postdoctoral Fellowship. ‘Botanical Approaches to Combat Metabolic Syndrome’ LSU Pennington Biomedical Research Center and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.
  • September 2008 – August 2012. Charles and Joanna Busch Predoctoral Fellowship – Waksman Institute of Microbiology, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.
  • June 2006 – August 2006. Waksman Undergraduate Research Fellowship – Waksman Institute of Microbiology, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

Publications

  • Gurdon, C., Poulev, A., Armas, I., Satorov, S., Tsai, M., Raskin, I. Genetic and phytochemical Characterization of Lettuce Flavonoid Biosynthesis Mutants. Scientific Reports, Vol. 9, article number 3305, 2019.
  • Gurdon, C., Svab, Z., Feng, Y., Kumar, D., Maliga, P. Cell-to-cell movement of mitochondria in plants. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, Vol. 113, No. 12, pp. 3395-3400, 2016.
  • Bosacchi, M., Gurdon, C., Maliga, P. Plastid Genotyping Reveals Uniformity of Cytoplasmic Male Sterile-T maize Cytoplasms. Plant Physiol., Vol. 169, No. 3, pp. 2129-2137, 2015.
  • Gurdon, C., Maliga, P. Two Distinct Plastid Genome Configurations and Unprecedented Intraspecies Length Variation in the accD Coding Region in Medicago truncatula. DNA Res., Vol. 21, No. 4, pp. 417-427, 2014.

Oral Presentations

  • Gurdon C., Svab, Z., Maliga, P. Opportunities for Crop Improvement by Inter-cellular Movement of Organelles Through Graft Junctions. Plant and Animal Genome XXVI Conference, San Diego, CA, January 2018.
  • Gurdon, C. Cell-to Cell Movement of Organellar DNA in Plants. 14th Systems Biology Workshop: From Ancient to Designer Genomes, Bundoora, Victoria, Australia, May 2017. (Invited speaker)
  • Gurdon, C., Svab, Z., Maliga, P. Identification of a cytoplasmic male sterility-associated gene in recombinant tobacco mitochondria. Waksman Institute Annual Retreat, New Brunswick, NJ, September 2015.
  • Gurdon, C., Feng, Y., Svab, Z., Maliga, P. Inter-Cellular Organelle Movement in Tissue Grafts for Engineering the Cytoplasm of Flowering Plants. Chloroplast Biotechnology Gordon Research Conference, Ventura, CA, January 2015.
  • Gurdon, C., Feng, Y., Svab, Z., Maliga, P. Cell-to-Cell Movement of Mitochondrial DNA in Flowering Plants. Waksman Institute Annual Retreat, New Brunswick, NJ, September 2014.
  • Gurdon, C., Maliga, P. Hypervariable Plastid Genomes in the Model Legume Medicago truncatula. Waksman Institute Annual Retreat, New Brunswick, NJ, September 2013.
  • Gurdon, C., Maliga, P. Survey Reveals Maternal and Biparental Modes of Plastid Inheritance in Medicago truncatula. 2nd International Symposium on Chloroplast Genomics and Genetic Engineering, Maynooth, Ireland, June 2010.

Poster Presentations

  • Gurdon, C., Tsai, M., Satorov, S., Poulev, A., Raskin, I. Development of¬†Lettuce (Lactuca sativa) Lines with High Levels of Flavonoids. Plant and Animal Genome XXVI Conference, San Diego, CA, January 2018.
  • Gurdon, C., Satorov, S., Poulev, A., Raskin, I. Development and characterization of lettuce lines with novel flavonoid composition. 2017 Rutgers Postdoc Symposium, Piscataway, NJ, April 2017.
  • Gurdon, C., Svab, Z., Maliga, P. Horizontal Transfer of Mitochondrial DNA Through Tobacco Graft Junctions Is Followed by Extensive Recombination Yielding Chimeric Fertile and Cytoplasmic Male Sterile (CMS) Mitochondrial Genomes. Mitochondria and Chloroplast Gordon Research Conference, Lucca, Italy, July 2014.
  • Bosacchi, M., Gurdon, C., Maliga, P. Comparative Analysis of Six Maize Plastid Genomes. Plant and Animal Genome XXII Conference, San Diego, CA, January 2014.
  • Gurdon, C., Maliga, P. Two Distinct Plastid Genome Configurations And Unprecedented Intraspecies Length Variation in the accD Coding Region in Medicago truncatula. Plant and Animal Genome XXII Conference, San Diego, CA, January 2014.
  • Gurdon, C., Maliga, P. Hypervariable Plastid Genomes in Medicago truncatula. 3rd International Symposium on Chloroplast Genomics and Genetic Engineering, New Brunswick, NJ, May 2013.
  • Gurdon, C., Maliga, P. Next Generation Sequencing of Medicago truncatula Plastid Genomes. Plant and Animal Genome XX Conference, San Diego, CA, January 2012.
  • Gurdon, C., Maliga, P. Plastome-Genome Incompatibility in Medicago truncatula. 9th International Plant Molecular Biology Congress, St. Louis, MO, October 2009.

Workshops and Courses

  • NCCIH Fellows Trainees Workshop: Building a Successful Research Career Path. NIH, Bethesda, MD, October 2017.
  • Mary Frances Picciano Dietary Supplement Research Practicum. NIH, Bethesda, MD, June 2017.
  • The Business of Science for Scientists: Core Professional Skills that Make You Competitive for a Professional Career. SciPhD Certificate Program offered at Rutgers University, February 2017.
  • Ethical Scientific Conduct. Rutgers University, Spring 2017.
  • Introduction to College Teaching. TA Project, Rutgers University, Spring 2015.
  • Practical course: Bioinformatics: Computer Methods in Molecular Biology. International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Trieste, Italy, June 2007.

Volunteering Experience

  • Rutgers Postdoctoral association, President (2017 – 2018). Headed the organization of the 9th Postdoctoral Symposium, a one-day, $5,000 budget event with 16 invited speakers, 8 sponsor organizations and ~90 participants. Headed the organization of the Postdoc Appreciation Lunch, where 12 invited organizations introduced scholarship, internship and volunteering opportunities for postdocs.
  • Cook Researchers of Plant Science, Vice President (2011 – 2012). Coordinated fundraising and social events with fellow plant biology graduate students.