Francisca Blanco-Herrera is a plant pathologist and Associate Professor of the Plant Biotechnology Center at the Universidad Andres Bello (UNAB) in Chile.
Her research interests are the signaling pathways involved in plant responses to pathogen infections and how the pathogen manipulates the host to its benefits. For instance, the tradeoff between defense response and development, the structure and function of the cell wall and the involvement of hormones in the physiological process triggered by the infection/infestation of different model plants. Using system biology approaches to integrate the omics data into genome-scale metabolic models of both pathogens and hosts, to better understand the underlying mechanisms governing plant immunity and growth responses that finally leads to the pathogen success and plant sickness.
As well as a being a Board Member for the Global Plant Council from 2019, Francisca is also a council representative for the Chilean Society of Plant Biologists (CSPB). She is currently the Past-President of the CSPB and the Chief Research Officer of Universidad Andres Bello.