Dr. Ludmila Rizhsky

Assistant Scientist

My research in Nikolau lab began with metabolic analysis of bioactive extracts and fractions from the medicinal plants Hypericum, Echinacea and Prunella, as part of the Center for Research on Botanical Dietary Supplements. My current project focuses on characterization of alkamide biochemical pathways in Echinacea plants, as part of the Medicinal Plant Consortium. In addition, I am co-advising graduate and undergraduate students studying surface lipid biosynthesis pathways.

Hometown: Born in Sankt-Petersburg, Russia; hometown is Jerusalem, Israel. MS thesis title: Development of transgenic plants with enhanced resistance to pathogens. PhD thesis title: Molecular analysis of oxidative stress response in plants. Research interests: Fingerprinting analysis and chemical identification of phytochemicals in herbal supplements used in alternative medicine; the study focused on Echinacea, Hypericum and Prunella. Fun fact: Almost all members of my family were born in different countries. Another fun fact – my army rank is higher than my husband’s.


Rizhsky L, Jin H, Shepard MR, Scott HW, Teitgen AM, Perera MA, Mhaske V, Jose A, Zheng X, Crispin M, Wurtele ES, Jones D, Hur M, Góngora-Castillo E, Buell CR, Minto RE, Nikolau BJ. 2016. Integrating metabolomics and transcriptomics data to discover a biocatalyst that can generate the amine precursors for alkamide biosynthesis. Plant J 88(5):775-793.. doi: 10.1111/tpj.13295. Epub 2016 Sep 27.

Wurtele ES, Cappell J, Jones AD, Celiz MD, Ransom N, Hur M, Rizshsky L, Crispin M, Dixon P, Liu J, Widrlechner MP, Nikolau, BJ. 2012. Medicinal plants: A public resource for metabolomics and hypothesis development. Metabolites 2(4): 1031-1059. doi:10.3390/metabo2041031.

Huang N, Rizshsky L, Hauck CC, Nikolau BJ, Murphy, PA. 2012. The inhibition of lipopolysaccharide-induced macrophage inflammation by 4 compounds in Hypericum perforatum extract is partially dependent on the activation of SOCS3. Phytochemistry 76:106-16. doi: 10.1016/j.phytochem.2011.12.001. Epub 2012 Jan 13. PMID: 22245632.

Zhang X, Rizshsky L, Hauck C, Qu L, Widrlechner MP, Nikolau BJ, Murphy PA, Birt DF. 2012. Bauer ketones 23 and 24 from Echinacea paradoxa var. paradoxa inhibit lipopolysaccharide-induced nitric oxide, prostaglandin E2 and cytokines in RAW264.7 mouse macrophages. Phytochemistry 74:146-58. doi: 10.1016/j.phytochem.2011.10.013. Epub 2011 Nov 29. PMID: 22133644.

Huang N, Rizshsky L, Hauck C, Nikolau BJ, Murphy PA, Birt DF. 2011. Identification of anti-inflammatory constituents in Hypericum perforatum and Hypericum gentianoides extracts using RAW 264.7 mouse macrophages. Phytochemistry 72(16):2015-23. doi: 10.1016/j.phytochem.2011.07.016. Epub 2011 Aug 17. PMID:21855951.

Wu LK, Rowe EW, Jeftinija K, Jeftinija S, Rizshsky L, Nikolau BJ, McKay J, Kohut M, Wurtele ES. 2010. Echinacea-induced cytosolic Ca2+ elevation in HEK293. BMC Complement Altern Med 110:72. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-10-72. PMID: 21092239.

Lalone CA, Huang N, Rizshsky L, Yum MY, Singh N, Hauck C, Nikolau BJ, Wurtele ES, Kohut ML, Murphy PA, Birt DF. 2010. Enrichment of Echinacea angustifolia with Bauer alkylamide 11 and Bauer ketone 23 increased anti-inflammatory potential through interference with cox-2 enzyme activity. J Agric Food Chem 58(15):8573-84. doi: 10.1021/jf1014268. PMID: 20681645.

Huang N, Hauck C, Yum MY, Rizshsky L, Widrlechner MP, McCoy JA, Murphy PA, Dixon PM, Nikolau BJ, Birt DF. 2009. Rosmarinic acid in Prunella vulgaris ethanol extract inhibits lipopolysaccharide-induced prostaglandin E2 and nitric oxide in RAW 264.7 mouse macrophages. Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry 57(22):10579-89. doi: 10.1021/jf9023728. PMID: 19919113.

LaLone CA, Rizshsky L, Hammer KD, Wu L, Solco AK, Yum M, Nikolau BJ, Wurtele ES, Murphy PA, Kim M and Birt DF. 2009. Endogenous levels of Echinacea alkylamides and ketones are important contributors to the inhibition of prostaglandin E2 and nitric oxide production in cultured macrophages. Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry 57(19):8820-30. doi: 10.1021/jf901202y. PMID: 19807154.

Maury W, Price JP, Brindley MA, Oh C, Neighbors JD, Wiemer DF, Wills N, Carpenter S, Hauck C, Murphy P, Widrlechner MP, Delate K, Kumar G, Kraus GA, Rizshsky L, Nikolau BJ. 2009. Identification of light-independent inhibition of human immunodeficiency virus-1 infection through bioguided fractionation of Hypericum perforatum. Virology Journal 6:101. doi: 10.1186/1743-422X-6-101. PMID: 19594941.

Brindley MA, Widrlechner MP, McCoy JA, Murphy P, Hauck C, Rizshsky L, Nikolau BJ, Maury W. 2009. Inhibition of lentivirus replication by aqueous extracts of Prunella vulgaris. Virology Journal 6:8. doi: 10.1186/1743-422X-6-8. PMID: 19154592.

Hillwig MS, Rizhsky L, Wang Y, Umanskaya A, Essner J, MacIntosh GC. 2009. Zebrafish RNase T2 genes and the evolution of secretory ribonucleases in animals. BMC Evolutionary Biology 9: 170.

Miller G, Suzuki N, Rizhsky L, Hegie A, Koussevitzky S, Mittler R. 2007. Double mutants deficient in cytosolic and thylakoid ascorbate peroxidase reveal a complex mode of interaction between reactive oxygen species, plant development and response to abiotic stresses. Plant Physiology 144(4): 1777-1785.

Suzuki N, Rizhsky L, Liang H, Shuman J, Shulaev V, Mittler R. 2005. Enhanced tolerance to environmental stress in transgenic plants expressing the transcriptional coactivator multiprotein bridging factor 1c. Plant Physiology 139(3):1313-22.

Davletova S, Rizhsky L, Liang H, Shengqiang Z, Oliver DJ, Coutu J, Shulaev V, Schlauch K, Mittler R. 2005. Cytosolic ascorbate peroxidase 1 is a central component of the reactive oxygen gene network of Arabidopsis. Plant Cell 17(1):268-81.

Rizhsky L, Shulaev V, Mittler R. 2004. Measuring programmed cell death in plants. Methods Mol Biol 282:179-89.

Rizhsky L, Davletova S, Liang H, Mittler R. 2004. When defense pathways collide: The response of Arabidopsis to a combination of drought and heat stress. Plant Physiology 134(4):1683-96.

Rizhsky L, Davletova S, Liang H, Mittler R. 2004. The zinc-finger protein Zat12 is required for cytosolic ascorbate peroxidase 1 expression during oxidative stress in Arabidopsis. Journal of Biological Chemistry 279(12):11736-43.

Rizhsky L, Shulaev V, Mittler R. 2004. Measuring apoptosis in plant cells. Methods in Molecular Biology. 282:179-89: Apoptosis Methods and Protocols. Edited by H.Brady Humana Press Inc.

Rizhsky L, Liang H, Mittler R. 2003. The water-water cycle is essential for chloroplast protection in the absence of stress. Journal of Biological Chemistry 278(40): 38921-5.

Thornburg RW, Carter C, Powell A, Mittler R, Rizhsky L, Horner HT. 2003. A major function of the tobacco floral nectary is defense against microbial attack. Plant Systematics and Evolution. 238(1-4): 211-218.

Rizhsky L, Liang H, Mittler R. 2002. The combined effect of drought stress and heat shock on gene expression in tobacco. Plant Physiology 130(3): 1143-51.

Rizhsky L, Hallak-Herr E, Van Breusegem F, Rachmilevitch S, Barr JE, Rodermel S, Inze D, Mittler R. 2002. Double antisense plants lacking ascorbate peroxidase and catalase are less sensitive to oxidative stress than single antisense plants lacking ascorbate peroxidase or catalase. The Plant Journal 32(3): 329-42.

Rizhsky L, Mittler R. 2001. Inducible expression of bacterio-opsin in transgenic tobacco and tomato plants. Plant Mol Biol 46(3):313-23.

Mittler R, Rizhsky L. 2000. Transgene-induced lesion mimic. Plant Molecular Biology 44(3): 335-44.

Area of Expertise: 
Metabolic Analysis
B.S., Molecular Biology, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
M.S., Biotechnology, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
Ph.D., Biology, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel
2252 Molecular Biology Building