rumyanaMy research interest was always focused on plants, how they respond to external and internal stimuli and how plants can change and reprogram their development. My PhD thesis research was focused on understanding the mechanism of brassinosteroid signal transduction pathways and the process of reprogramming of somatic plat cells to a totipotent state. Since then I have always been interested in the regulation of plant developmental processes and I realize that I can transfer my experience and knowledge from a model species Arabidopsis to the model crop species tomato, I joined the lab of prof. Gerco Angenent as a post-doctoral fellow. During my post-doctorate I obtained a NWO-VENI grant and I identified new important regulators of tomato fruit ripening, SlAP2a and FUL1/FUL2 transcription factors. Furthermore, I was the first to set up the protocol for degradome (PARE) analysis on a genome-wide scale in tomato and demonstrated that miRNAs are important regulators of tomato fruit development. In my current ERA-NET project I would like to understand how tomato plants respond to salinity and which gene regulatory networks regulate these responses at molecular and cellular level. The main aim of the ROOT project is to create fundamental and practical knowledge of how to improve salinity tolerance of crops. In this project we will focus on tomato, but new knowledge could readily be translated to other fruit and non-fruit crops.