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Olena Vatamaniuk is Associate Professor of Molecular Biology of Abiotic Stress in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences at Cornell University. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Botany at Lviv State University, Ukraine in 1992 and Ph.D. in Plant Physiology at Lviv State and Kyiv State Universities, Ukraine. Driven by the desire to extend her expertise from physiology to molecular biology and biochemistry she joined Dr. Phil Rea’s group at the University of Pennsylvania, USA for postdoctoral studies were she focused on molecular mechanisms of phytochelatin-dependent heavy metal detoxification in plants. Finding that the phytochelatin-dependent pathway, formerly suggested to be restricted to plants and some fungi, operates in at least some animals, the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans, prompted her to gain additional expertise in C. elegans biology, at the Department of Genetics of University of Pennsylvania. She joined the Cornell faculty in 2005. Her research program focuses on analyses of transition metals homeostasis and crosstalk between essential and toxic metals in plants and C. elegans.