Felipe Klein Ricachenevsky

Life Sciences

Hidden hunger, an unexplained nutrient deficiency, is a relatively recent phenomenon. Despite the extensive industrialization of food, it’s estimated that at least 3 billion people worldwide have either an iron or zinc deficiency.

Felipe Ricachenevsky, a biologist at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, is working on developing a strain of rice enriched with these two nutrients. He earned his master’s and doctorate degrees in cell biology from UFRGS and served as a visiting researcher at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. He also completed a post-doctorate at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, United States. Felipe discovered his passion for DNA manipulation at a young age while watching the movie Jurassic Park, and his fascination grew through his biology classes at school. A book enthusiast, Felipe also enjoys creating his daughter Maya’s favorite games.


Leveraging Genetic Diversity in Cultivated and Wild Rice to Develop Iron- and Zinc-Enriched Grains: A nutritional revolution
Science / Life Sciences

Rice, a staple food for half the world’s population, is deficient in micronutrients such as iron and zinc, which are crucial yet often lacking in the human diet. Our goal is to understand how rice plants absorb these minerals and why only a small fraction is transported to the grains. To achieve this, we propose two strategies: i) analyzing all species of the Oryza genus, which are wild relatives of rice; ii) utilizing a collection of mutagenized rice plants with sequenced genomes, enabling us to identify the mutations present in each lineage. We will analyze the grains of all these strains to identify those with the highest amounts of iron and zinc. In these plants, we will pinpoint the genes responsible for this increase, thereby understanding the nutrient transport mechanism to the grains. Our aim is to swiftly generate plants with grains enriched in iron and zinc, which could significantly impact human nutrition.

Amount invested

R$ 92,500.00

Open Calls

Science Call 1
  • Topics
  • Genetics
  • Iron
  • Minerals
  • rice
  • Zinc