The Vatamaniuk lab studies molecular mechanisms of homeostasis of micronutrients such as copper, iron and zinc and their interactions with a toxic element cadmium as pertains to plant growth, development, yield, food safety and human health. We use model plants, Arabidopsis thaliana, Brachypodium distachyon, and most recently grain crops, wheat and rice and a variety of functional genomics approaches including high-precision analytical tools such as synchrotron x-ray fluorescent microscopy to identify and characterize genes that control iron, copper, zinc and cadmium uptake into the plant, their delivery to the shoot and loading into grains. Our ultimate goal is to contribute basic knowledge to the generation of novel biofortification strategies as well as improving grain yield and safety. Olena is a joint faculty member with Plant Biology and an Associate Professor in SCS. See her SCS profile here.