Recognizing Plant Cell authors: Ji-Yun Kim

Ji-Yun Kim, first author of Distinct identities of leaf phloem cells revealed by single cell transcriptomics

Current Position:  Postdoctoral researcher at Heinrich Heine University, Düsseldorf

Education: BS/MS/Ph.D. in Biological Science at Seoul National University

Non-scientific Interests: music, dinosaurs, and planets

Brief bio: I received my Ph.D. in plant chromatin biology at Seoul National University (Prof Yoo-Sun Noh). My thesis was about chromatin modifiers involved in the acquisition of callus pluripotency and juvenile-to-adult transition in Arabidopsis. Ironically, after earning my Ph.D., I realized how much I love being a plant biologist, but how little I knew about plants. I decided to pursue my career as a postdoctoral researcher to learn more about their nature. I moved to Germany to find the lab that fits my research goals and supports my life outside of work (mainly, as a mother and wife). In 2018, I joined the Institute of Molecular Physiology lead by Prof. Wolf B. Frommer and became part of the SECRET-ome project. In this collaborative project, we aim to identify components determining different secretory cell types in Arabidopsis and rice. Presently, I am surrounded by amazing lab members, supportive collaborators, and a PI who trusts me and encourages me to aim higher. We are there for each other to share the frustrations, the puzzling results, and the rare yet wonderful moments of scientific discoveries. I believe that the small steps we plant biologists make will lead to big changes in the future!