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The University of Southampton
Biological SciencesPostgraduate study

Mrs Iytzia Castaneda-Davalos BSc (Hons)

Postgraduate Researcher in Molecular and Cellular Sciences

Mrs Iytzia Castaneda-Davalos's photo

Mrs Iytzia Castaneda-Davalos is Postgraduate Research Student in Molecular and Cellular Sciences within Biological Sciences at the University of Southampton.

Prior to starting her PhD, Iytzia worked as a nutritionist in the City Hall Medical Centre in Mexico, providing diets to patients with a variety of health conditions including cancer. Iytzia developed hyperenergetic diets enriched with Omega-3, fatty acids (FAs), arginine, lysine and glucosinolates (GSLs). During her job as a nutritionist consultant, Iytzia realised the importance of Brassica plants because they are rich in GSLs, which are compounds with anti-cancer properties.

Later, Iytzia worked as a research technician in the Biological Sciences labs where she interacted with postgraduate students and Principal Investigators. This interaction awoke her interest in research and it gave her the motivation to pursue a postgraduate degree in a topic that links her background in human nutrition and biological sciences.

Career History:

2014-2017: Research Technician at University of Southampton, UK.
2010-2011: Nutritional Consultancy at City Hall Medical Centre, Mexico.

Academic Qualifications:

2006-2010: BSc (Hons) Human Nutrition, Universidad del Valle de Atemajac (UNIVA), Mexico.


Research interests

Iytzia’s main research interest is improving the nutritional value of vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage.

The role of root beneficial bacteria and the effect of light on the production of GSLs has been investigated in previous studies. However, the combined effect of these two factors (root beneficial microbiota and light) on GSLs production is still poorly understood. Iytzia’s PhD research seeks to address this knowledge gap.

Iytzia's project will be using cutting-edge methods to determine how plant-specific traits (i.e. photoreceptors) and the plant microbiome influence the production of FAs and GSLs. Besides protecting crops from pests, these compounds have health benefits for humans including anti-cancer properties.

Supervisors: Dr Haruko Okamoto and Dr Marc Dumont
PhD Research: Disentangling Contributions Of Light And Beneficial Bacteria On The Nutritional Value Of Brassica Plants
Funding: National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT), The Gerald Kerkut Trust, Biological Sciences

Research group

Molecular and Cellular Biosciences

Mrs Iytzia Castaneda-Davalos
School of Biological Sciences
Faculty of Environmental and Life Sciences
Life Sciences Building 85
University of Southampton
Highfield Campus
SO17 1BJ

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