Research Expertise and Interest
genome evolution, innate immunity, plant health, fungi
The innate immune system is ancient and shared across kingdoms. Many organisms successfully utilize innate immune systems in the absence of an adaptive immunity to defend themselves against rapidly evolving pathogens: viruses, bacteria, fungi, and insects. I am interested to work with several host-pathogen systems (mostly plants, bacteria and fungi) to understand biodiversity of host defenses, biodiversity of pathogens as well as develop strategies for engineering innate immunity.
Ongoing major research areas:
- Biodiversity of innate immune systems in plants and fungi.
- Mutagenesis and synthetic biology to improve disease resistance.
- "Evolution in overdrive" - rapidly evolving parts of genomes.