Welcome to Arkansas State University!

Dr. Fabricio Medina-Bolivar

Professor of Metabolic Engineering


  • BS - 1992 - Biology, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru
  • PhD - 1997 - Plant Physiology, Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA

Courses Taught

  • Special Problems
  • Independent Study: Hairy Roots 
  • Specialized Biochemistry

Research Interests

Discovery and Production of Valuable Plant-Derived Chemicals

Dr. Medina-Bolivar's research is at the interface of plant biotechnology and medicine. His research involves the use "hairy roots" for production of specialized biologically active chemicals with important applications in the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical/food and agricultural industries.

Current Research Projects:

Production of biologically active stilbenes (resveratrol and resveratrol derivatives) in hairy root cultures.

Elicitation and metabolic engineering of biologically active sesquiterpenes in hairy roots of Solanaceae species.

  • Genetic transformation of sorghum and establishment of root cultures for production of natural herbicides.
  • Tissue culture and phytochemical characterization of black cohosh.
  • Production and secretion of recombinant proteins in hairy root cultures.
  • Scale-up of hairy roots in bioreactors.  

"Hairy roots" are unique tissue culture systems that reproduce the biosynthetic potential of intact plants. My approach is to utilize different stress signals (biotic and abiotic elicitors) to induce the natural biosynthetic pathways present in the roots. In addition, metabolic engineering strategies are utilized to enhance the production of these chemicals. Through active research collaborations with scientists on and off campus, these chemicals are being tested for different biological activities, including anticancer and antimicrobial properties.

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