Plants cannot run away from potential danger including pathogens. However, in nature, plants live relatively well, indicating that plants like animals have evolved a good immune system. Our lab studies how plants detect a pathogen and how plants kick it out.
My experiences in learning as an undergraduate and graduate student and as a postdoc tell me that research and teaching is both sides of a coin and good teaching may be derived from one’s own good research. While writing some review articles, I felt that it is not easy to make those who are not specialists in my research field understood. But in the end, one can broaden and simplify his knowledge by writing those articles through reading many more papers. I guess that this can be also applied to teaching. Like rapid changes and advances in sciences, the swift advance in technology is now enabling students to get newest knowledge, although correct or wrong, more quickly through internets. Therefore, I consider the relationship between a professor and students to be a two-way interaction, because both can learn from each other. In this sense, a professor should encourage students to play positive roles in a class room and can follow current trend in his field. That could be the reason why a professor who gives a lecture should vigorously participate in research.
My current research interests are to systemically understand how plants regulate their defense responses to potential pathogens. I identified, for the first time in plants, a whole set of SNARE proteins that drive vesicle-fusion-associated exocytosis in both plant growth and immunity. In addition, I recently identified an oomycete/fungal PAMP receptor in Arabidopsis. Therefore, I think that I am competent in teaching courses related to ‘Plant Immunity’. Although I can also teach a general Plant Physiology or Plant Molecular Biology with the knowledge on auxin signaling and telomere biology in plants that I obtained during my PhD and first postdoc period, I prefer to teaching about Plant Immune Responses. To me, more effective teaching would be a training of graduate students in my research laboratory because I can enthusiastically design and perform experiments together with graduate students. Of course, the most important thing in my view is to advise and direct students to be more creative and independent.
Plant Immune Responses