Research Interests

We are interested in the molecular basis of bacterial pathogenesis in plants and animals. The plant model system that we are studying is the pathogenic interaction between Pseudomonas syringae and the small flowering plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Our long-term goal in this model is to elucidate the mechanisms whereby the plant and pathogen recognize each other and how the recognition signals are transduced, causing the transcriptional activation of virulence genes in the pathogen and defense-related genes in the host. We have also developed a novel model system that involves a strain of the human opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa that is infectious in a mouse model as well as in Arabidopsis and in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We are using this "multi-host" pathogen model to help identify those aspects of the pathogenic process that are similar irrespective of the pathogen and the host.

Membership Type


Election Year


Primary Section

Section 25: Plant Biology