Alan Wanke: The Plant Cell First Author

Alan Wanke, co-first author of “Fungi hijack a ubiquitous plant apoplastic endoglucanase to release a ROS scavenging β-glucan decasaccharide to subvert immune responses”

Current Position:

Research Assistant in the group of Dr Sebastian Schornack (Sainsbury Laboratory, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom)


PhD in Plant Sciences at University of Cologne/Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Cologne (Germany), B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Biological Sciences at University of Münster (Germany).

Non-scientific Interests:

Travelling and hiking, social activism & everything centred around music and dancing.

Brief bio:

While initially being interested in biomedical sciences, a well-orchestrated combination of courses in botany, plant biochemistry and physiology at the University of Münster convinced me that the seemingly unexciting kingdom of plants has more to offer than I could see at first glimpse. After exploring different aspects of plant biochemistry and biotechnology in my Master’s, I had the opportunity to dive into the world of plant-microbe interactions during my doctoral time in the group of Prof Dr Alga Zuccaro. I was particularly interested in how far fungal cell wall components contribute to the activation of plant immunity and, moreover, impact the outcome of plant-fungal interactions. In my current position in the group of Dr Sebastian Schornack at the Sainsbury Laboratory, I have the chance to further deepen these interests with a particular focus on the overlap between plant developmental processes and the establishment of symbiotic interactions with mycorrhizal fungi.