Alexandre Leary

Postdoctoral Scientist
Wenbo Ma Group

I am interested in the interaction between haustoriated pathogens such as fungi and oomycetes and their plant host. By combining cell biology, biochemistry and transcriptomic approaches, I hope to shed light on the complex dynamics at the host-microbe interface that dictate the outcome of infection. More specifically, my research focusses on elucidating the mechanisms of non-host resistance and the traffic of small RNAs between the plant and the pathogen.


Pandey P, Leary AY, Tümtas Y, Savage Z, Dagvadorj B, Tan E, Khandare V, Duggan C, Yusunov T, Madalinski M, Mirkin FG, Schornack S, Dagdas Y, Kamoun S, Bozkurt TO (2020)

The Irish potato famine pathogen subverts host vesicle trafficking to channel starvation-induced autophagy to the pathogen interface. bioRxiv preprint Mar 21, 2020 doi:

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Leary AY, Savage Z, Tumtas Y, Bozkurt TO (2019)

Contrasting and emerging roles of autophagy in plant immunity. Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2019 Dec;52:46-53. doi: 10.1016/j.pbi.2019.07.002.

Toufexi A, Duggan C, Pandey P, Savage Z, Segretin ME, Yuen LH, Gaboriau DCA, Leary AY, Khandare V, Ward AD, Botchway SW, Bateman BC, Pan I, Schattat M, Sparkes I, Bozkurt TO (2019)

Chloroplasts navigate towards the pathogen interface to counteract infection by the Irish potato famine pathogen. bioRxiv preprint Jan 09, 2019 doi:

Dagdas YF, Pandey P, Tumtas Y, Sanguankiattichai N, Belhaj K, Duggan C, Leary AY, Segretin M, Contreras M, Savage Z, Khandare VS, Kamoun S, Bozkurt TO (2018)

Host autophagy machinery is diverted to the pathogen interface to mediate focal defense responses against the Irish potato famine pathogen. Elife. 2018 Jun 22;7. pii: e37476. doi: 10.7554/eLife.37476.

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Leary AY, Sanguankiattichai N, Duggan C, Tumtas Y, Pandey P, Segretin ME, Salguero Linares J, Savage ZD, Yow RJ, Bozkurt TO (2018)

Modulation of plant autophagy during pathogen attack. J Exp Bot. 2018 Mar 14;69(6):1325-1333. doi: 10.1093/jxb/erx425.

Job History

2020 – present Postdoctoral Scientist, The Sainsbury Laboratory, Norwich, UK

2016 – 2020 PhD in Molecular Plant and Microbial Sciences, Bozkurt group, Imperial College London, UK

2017 – 2017 Intern in the Protein Expression and Purification (PEP) team, Syngenta, Jealotts Hill site, UK

2015 – 2016 MRes in Molecular Plant and Microbial Sciences, Imperial College London, UK

2012 – 2015 BSc in Biology, Imperial College London, UK