Recognizing Plant Cell authors: Ho Won Jung

Ho Won Jung, first author of Pathogen-associated Molecular Pattern-triggered Immunity Involves Proteolytic Degradation of Core Nonsense-mediated mRNA Decay Factors During the Early Defense Response

Current Position: Associate Professor at Dong-A University, Korea

Education: Ph.D. and Master of Science in Plant Pathology at Korea University, Korea. BSc in Agricultural Biology at Korea University, Korea

Non-scientific Interests: football, movies

Brief bio: I am always trying to keep moving forward to change. As a molecular plant pathologist, I am interested in addressing specific questions, such as how plants finely tune immune response against pathogen infection and how plants memorize the past. I completed my Ph.D. in the laboratory of Professor Byung Kook Hwang, where I investigated the role of the immune-related genes in pepper plants. During this period, I realized that plants employ multiple genes to defend themselves against bacterial and oomycete infection. At this stage, I have developed my logic regarding the meaning of various defense modules. After finishing my Ph.D. in 2004, I moved to Dr. Jean T. Greenberg’s lab at The University of Chicago, where I learned a new angle on molecular interaction between plants and microbes. With a wonderful collaboration with my collogues, I found a new role of azelaic acid, as a long-distance mobile signal need for primed systemic resistance and obtained a piece of evidence that plant immunity is also epigenetically controlled. Since 2010, I am studying on the roles of epigenetic regulation and nonsense-mediated mRNAs decay in plant immunity as a principal investigator. My team does our best to propose a new insight into the early cellular response to control plant immunity. I believe that these findings will give our colleagues a state-of-the-art platform to expand our knowledge of the plasticity of plant immune responses.