I am a postdoc working in the molecular mechanisms behind Trichoderma-induced ISR at KU Leuven, Belgium. I did my PhD studies on the epigenetic regulation of Arabidopsis thaliana immune responses at IPS2, Paris. I am highly interested in the molecular mechanisms involved in the regulation plant-microbe interactions, as well as understanding the signaling processes behind plant responses to environmental cues. 

I performed my BSc at Los Andes University in my hometown, Bogotá, Colombia. Afterwards I received my MSc degree at professor Heribert Hirt's lab at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), where I participated in the Darwin21 project. Such project aims to to isolate and characterize microorganisms associated to the rhizosphere of desert plants, capable of promoting salinity tolerance and growth in crop plants.

Complementary to my scientific passions, one of my main interests involves the communication of science and knowledge. I particularly enjoy reading, writing, editing and reviewing scientific (and not scientific) manuscripts. I am both, delighted and honored to be part of the Plantae community.

Career Status:
Postdoctoral Scholar

Research Areas:
Biotic Interactions, Genetics, Genomics, Gene Regulation, Applied Plant Biology, Botany, Growth Regulation, Molecular Biology, Signals and Responses


·       Ramirez-Prado, J.S., Abulfaraj, A.A., Rayapuram, N., Benhamed, M., Hirt, H. (2018). Plant immunity: from signaling to the epigenetic control of defense. Trends in Plant Sciences. In Press.

·       Ramirez-Prado, J.S., Piquerez, S.J.M.,…, Raynaud, C., Benhamed, M. (2018). Modify the histone to win the battle: chromatin dynamics in plant-pathogen interactions. Frontiers in Plant Sciences, 19 (9), 1-18

·       Latrasse, D.; Jégu, T.; Kulikova, O.; De Zélicourt, A.; Raynaud, C.; Legras, S.; Gust, A.; Samajova, O.; Veluchamy, A.; Rayapuram, N.; Ramirez-Prado, J.S.,…, Benhamed, M. & Hirt, H. (2017). MAPK-triggered epigenetic reprogramming by histone deacetylase in plant innate immunity.  Genome Biology 18:131

·       Jégu, T.; Veluchamy, A.; Ramirez-Prado, J.S.;…, Hirt, H.; Raynaud, C.; Benhamed, M. (2017). The Arabidopsis SWI/SNF protein BAF60 mediates seedling growth control by modulating DNA accessibility. Genome Biology 18:114

·       Ramirez-Prado, J.S., Ariel, F., Benhamed, M., & Crespi, M. (2017). Plant epigenetics: non-coding RNAs as emerging regulators. Plant Epigenetics. (pp. 129-147) New York, NY: Springer Nature.  

·       Lafi, F., Ramirez-Prado, J.S.,…, Hirt, H., & Saad, M. (2016). Draft Genome Sequence of Plant Growth-Promoting Micrococcus luteus Strain K39 isolated from Cyperus conglomeratus in Saudi Arabia. Genome Announcements, 5 (4), 1-3.

·       Lafi, F., Ramirez-Prado, J.S.,…, Hirt, H., & Saad, M. (2016). Draft Genome Sequence of Halomonas elongata Strain K4, an Endophytic Growth-Promoting Bacterium Enhancing Salinity Tolerance in Planta. Genome Announcements, 4 (6), 1-2.

·       Ramirez-Prado, J.S., Rodriguez-Granados, N.Y.,…, Benhamed, M. (2016). Chromatin architecture: a new dimension in the dynamic control of gene expression. Plant Signaling and Behavior, 11 (10), e1232224-1 - e1232224-3

·       Ramirez-Prado, J.S., Rodriguez-Granados, N. Y.,…, Benhamed, M. (2016). Put your 3D glasses on: plant chromatin is on show. Journal of experimental botany, 67 (11), 1-17

Volunteer Activities

-Volunteer at the University Herbarium. Universidad de Los Andes. Jan 2010 – Sep 2011

As a volunteer at the herbarium of Los Andes University I participated in the sample recollection, preparation and classification of pieces for the botanical archive of the University's Biological Collection.

Current Affiliations
Experience & Education