FACS photo 1920x1080Ioanna Antoniadi at the Fluorescence Activated Cell Sorting (FACS) machine; photo: Sara Raggi

Kungliga Skytteanska Samfundet, a scientific academy based in Umeå, hands out every year prizes for outstanding research and cultural commitment. This year, Ioanna Antoniadi, researcher at the Umeå Plant Science Centre, will receive the prize that is assigned to the Faculty of Forest Sciences from SLU.

Ioanna Antoniadi focusses in her research on root development and the role of plant growth factors that are controlling the development. Kungl. Skytteanska Samfundet valued in their motivation for the prize, that Ioanna Antoniadi contributed to an improved understanding of mechanisms that regulate growth and development of plants, a fundamental knowledge with potential application within plant cultivation.

After finishing her PhD at the Imperial College in London, Ioanna Antoniadi moved to Umeå in 2015. She started in the group of Karin Ljung at the Umeå Plant Science Centre, first as a postdoc and now as a researcher. She has published as author or co-author six scientific publications within the last five years and became the expert at UPSC for Fluorescence Activated Cell Sorting (FACS), a very advanced technique that allows detections on the single cell level.

Ioanna Antoniadi independently developed and optimised new methods based on the FACS technique. She could demonstrate that the plant hormone cytokinin forms a gradient in the root tip of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, with the highest concentration in the top. These results were published in the prestigious journal Plant Cell and are now well cited. She also contributed to studies about how plants react on the hormone level to different type of stresses, e.g. salt stress and mechanical stress.

Kungl. Skytteanska Samfundet is awarding in total six prizes to young researchers, a cultural prize, the “Margareta och Eric Modigs” prize that is assigned to the Medical Faculty of Umeå University, a prize for a young artist from the Umeå Academy of Fine Arts, a prize for a young musician from the School of Music in Piteå and the “Samfundets stora pris”. All prizes will be officially handed over at the societies “Årshögtiden” on Friday, 24th of May at Sävargården in Umeå.

About Fluorescence Activated Cell Sorting (FACS):
Cell sorting is a method that allows purification of highly specific cell populations from a mix of cells. It can be for example used to isolate scarce cell types, that are labelled with a fluorescence marker, from a plant tissue. The plant tissue is initially enzymatically digested to remove the cell walls which leads to the formation of protoplasts (plant cells that are surrounded only by the plasma membrane). The protoplast mixture is then loaded into the FACS instrument that acts as an extremely “sharp knife” sorting the cells according to their size, internal complexity and fluorescence. The sorted and isolated cells can then be used for further analyses in downstream applications.

More information about Kungl. Skytteanska Samfundet:

More information about the prize winners 2019:

For more information about Ioanna Antoniadi’s research, please contact:

Ioanna Antoniadi
Umeå Plant Science Centre
Department of Forest Genetics and Plant Physiology
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: +46 (0)90 786 8628
Twitter: @I_Antoniadi