Jose Fernando Morán (Baracaldo, Vizcaya 1968) is a biologist (University of the Basque Country, Spain) and a PhD Chemist (University of Zaragoza, Spain). He carried out his post-doctoral stay at the University of Lincoln-Nebraska, USA (1996-1998), on the Functions of hemoglobins and other antioxidant systems of plants financed by the Ministry of Education of Spain, and by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) of the USA. Back in Spain, he began the research lines on plant molecular biology at the Aula Dei Experimental Station (CSIC), ZaragozaIn 1998. In 2003, he joined the Higher School of Agronomic Engineering and Biosciencies (ETSIAB), at the Public University of Navarra (UPNA) as a researcher within the “Ramón y Cajal” Program. In 2008 he obtained a position as Associate Professor, and in 2021 as Professor of Plant Physiology. Currently, he supervises the research laboratory in Plant Physiology and Agrobiology of the Institute for Multidisciplinary Research in Applied Biology (IMAB) in Mutilva.
His research activity in the last 10 years deals with nitrogen nutrition in plants, the signaling pathways mediated by free radicals and antioxidants, the regulation of the plant response to abiotic stress, and its bio- and nano-technological applications. Among my research works stand out: 1) The first demonstration that environmental stresses in plants induce oxidative stress (Moran et al., 1994-423 times cited); 2) The analysis of the antioxidant/pro-oxidant function of phenolic compounds from plants (Moran et al. ., 1997-330 citations); 3) The over-expression and characterization of recombinant functional non-symbiotic hemoglobins from rice (Arredondo-Peter et al., 1997-156 cites); and if we take into account the last 10 years, It can be mentioned, 4) The study of the depletion in the heaviest stable 15N isotope, which is associated to ammonium stress in plants (Ariz et al., 2011). This work is especially relevant because it changed the view that ammonium is transported as positively charged NH4+, and instead, it pointed out that at least a very important part of the ammonia enters the plant cell as a non-charged ammonia NH3+ molecule; 5) More interestingly, the demonstration that the antioxidant enzyme "Cambialistic Superoxide Dismutase" from Rhizobium leguminosarum localized in the nucleus of the symbiotic pea root cells acts as an essential "friendship" messenger without which the legume-rhizobia symbiosis will not be established. 6) He has leaded and co-authored many works about “plants under ammonium stress”. The 2016 review on the “Mechanisms of ammonium toxicity and the quest for tolerance” with 151 citations stands out as a reference work to understand the stress caused by ammonium in plants. 7) He has published several works in the subject of nanoscience. Is remarkable the comparison of 4 methods to produce gold nanoparticles to enhance detection by ELISA, which is cited 43 times (Ciaurriz et al., 2017). This work was developed at FIDENA (Foundation for the development of Nanotechnology in Navarra) for which he was a scientific supervisor and mentor.
He has been one of the initial leaders of the research lines at nanoscience company FIDENA, dedicated to provide nanotechnology services to the industries in Navarra. Fidena was later part of Cemitec Corporation, and now Naitec Technological Center (Navarra). He has leaded 4 (-3 years) projects of the Spanish Agrifood Plan, as well as several projects with companies. He is the first author of 4 patents, one of which reached international phases.
He has supervised 6 Ph. D. thesis plus 2 more in progress and has supervised many master and bachelo degrees thesis. He has also received postdoctoral researchers from the Juan de la Cierva and JAE programms. He taught or have taught many undergraduate courses related to Biology, and plant physiology, in Spanish and also in English languages, in degrees at the ETSIAB-UPNA, and at the Faculty of Human and Social Sciences. He has also taught courses in the interuniversitary master's degree in Environmental Agrobiology (ABA), and in the master's degree in Training of Secondary Education Teachers.
He was the president from its creation in 2009 to 2016 of the non-profit association that manages, between parents and teachers, the Waldorf Navarra School. Likewise, I have directed the summer course on the "Social importance of plants" taught in 4 editions, 3 at the Public University of Navarra (2015; 2016; 2018), and 1 at the University of the Basque Country (2017). His 54 indexed publications (SCI) have been cited 2874 times (index H = 28 according to Scopus; H=27 according to Web of Science-Publons). He received the "Jerónimo de Ayanz" research award from the Government of Navarra in 2008, and the qualification as I3 researcher by ANEP in 2009.
List of publications (Google Scholar):