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SPS - Saclay Plant Sciences


3 questions to Dario Monachello
Dario Monachello

Dario Monachello, INRA engineer, is in charge of the transcriptomic platform of the Institute of Plant Sciences Paris-Saclay since Mai 1st. After his PhD in biochemistry (2003) at the Institute of Agronomical Chemistry (University of Catania, Italy), he had several post-doc positions in France and the USA. He was recently recruited by INRA.


1) Could you tell us about your professional career?

I performed my university studies in Italy where I did my PhD in Biochemistry. I came to France in 2003. During my first post-doctoral position at the “Institut des Sciences du Végétal” (ISV, CNRS Gif-sur-Yvette), I worked on two Arabidopsis anion channel families. After this first experience, I joined Claire Lurin’s team at the Plant Genomics Research Institute (URGV, Evry) to participate in a European project. In this project, I was in charge of the development of protein-protein interaction studies in plants. During this first experience in plant genomics, I spent one year in Marc Vidal’s lab at the Center for Cancer Systems Biology (CCSB, Boston, USA) to contribute to the building of the first Arabidopsis protein-protein interaction network using a yeast two-hybrid strategy. Coming back to France, I first joined François Michel’s team at the Molecular Genomic Center (CGM, CNRS Gif-sur-Yvette) working on group II intron structure and activity. Latter, I was hired by the Genopole Plant Process Innovation laboratory (GPPI supervised by Andeol Falcon de Longevialle) to develop the Nicotiana benthamiana Agrobacterium transformation process used on the GPPI platform. Finally, I got an INRA engineer permanent position on the IPS2 Transcriptomic Platform in February 2015.      


2) What were your motivations when you joined the IPS2 transcriptomic platform?   

Joining the transcriptomic platform was for me really motivating but, actually, it was also a huge professional challenge! Indeed, the platform is a major infrastructure for both the IPS2 institute and the SPS LabEx. The platform is labelized by IBISA, is referenced as an INRA National Strategic Platform and is ISO9001 certified. Created in 2003 and managed by Sandrine Balzergue since 2010, the platform records 120 publications and, for example, more than 40 different partner laboratories in 2014. The platform is fully equipped to carry out high throughput transcriptomic projects using both RNA-seq and microarrays technologies. This position is thus a good opportunity for me to both use my previous plant genomic skills and acquire new competences. Moreover, the platform is embedded in two research teams of the IPS2 institute (Claire Lurin’s team “Organellar Gene Expression” and Marie-Laure Martin-Magniette’s team “Genomic Networks”). Truly, because of my former research experience, for me, working in direct interaction with both teams is really important. Last but not least, I think that one of the major forces of the platform is to often be involved in the projects from their very beginning. During the projects, we have an advisory role through active discussions with the “users” of the platform, which we actually consider as “collaborators”. Thus, through these interactions, I contribute to many various scientific subjects.  


3) What is the major issue you had to face up to learn managing the platform?

I have to admit that being a platform manager is a very new job for me and that I had to learn everything. Indeed, working on the platform requires a specific organization of my work and time management. However, during my first 5 months on the platform, I had the chance to be taught by Sandrine Balzergue which was undoubtedly an excellent trainer thanks to her experience and availability. Furthermore, the platform staff is highly motivated and autonomous, which helps me a lot for the daily management of the platform. My personal challenge is now to maintain a high quality of the platform results and, why not, to add my personal contribution thanks to my previous scientific experiences.