I am fascinated by nature and evolution of Life (aren’t we all?). To me, nothing is more compelling than observing the arm race between plant pathogens and their hosts that are co-evolving in a vicious cycle of attack and defence: “Gene-for-Gene”, “Boom-and-Bust”, “Guard-Guardee-Decoy Hypothesis”, “Zig-Zag-Zig”, and “All That Jazz”. Specifically, I am interrogating a notorious plant pathogen called Phytophthora infestans, an oomycete aka the Irish potato famine pathogen, that causes blight disease on potatoes and tomatoes.
We know that this pathogen suppresses plant immunity and manipulates plant physiological processes through the activity of so called effectors that are translocated inside the plant cells, and thought to interact with the plant proteins to do their deeds.
I am performing in planta co-immunoprecipitation experiments using tagged effectors to fish out the interacting plant proteins which are then identified by mass spectrometry, ultimately aiming to unravel the functions of these effectors.
ScientistThe Sainsbury Laboratory, Norwich, UK
2003 - 2006
Postdoctoral FellowThe Ohio State University, USA
1997 - 1998
Research TechnicianSchool of Medicine, University of Auckland, New Zealand
Disentangling the complex gene interaction networks between rice and the blast fungus identifies a new pathogen effector