Steven Le Hung ChengPostdoc
Steven investigated plant transcriptional condensates and systemic mobile long non-coding RNA biology in National University of Singapore for his PhD. In the Parker lab, Steven collaborates with synthetic organic chemists and biophysicists from University of Cologne to study and engineer plant nucleotide-based small molecules that activate immunity through EDS1 heterodimers. He’s using in vitro protein biochemical and plant-based approaches.
Giuliana HesslerPhD student
Giuliana studied Molecular Plant Science at the University Hamburg and started her PhD in our group in October 2020. Her research focuses on identifying what molecular and/or biochemical features distinguish the EDS1-PAD4-ADR1 from the EDS1-SAG101-NRG1 immunity node. In the first half of her PhD, she investigated the binding of TIR NADase-produced small molecules to the EDS1-PAD4 heterodimers in collaboration with the group of Jijie Chai. Currently, she is using pathogen assays and biochemical/proteomic approaches to understand the role of a cysteine protease in plant immunity, which interacts specifically with PAD4.
Charlotte HülsmannMaster student
Charlotte studies Agricultural Biosciences at the Technical University of Munich. She joined the Parker lab for an internship in November 2023 and stayed for her Master's thesis. Together with Lara, she is studying the interaction between plant-derived secondary metabolites and root-associated fungal endophytes, and their impact on plant iron nutrition.
Henriette LäßlePhD student
Henni studied biology at the University of Cologne and joined the lab as a PhD student in October 2021. Her research focus on TIR domains across plant species, specifically into catalytic activities of TIR-containing proteins and uncovering their roles in dicot and monocot defenses against disease.
Federica obtained her Ph.D. in Rome, where she studied the homeostasis of cell wall-derived DAMPs. After completing her Ph.D. school, she moved from Italy and joined Parker’s Lab. Federica is now aiming to dissect the underlying mechanisms of immune receptor signaling, specifically focusing on the EDS1/PAD4/ADR1 module
Dennis MahrMaster student
Dennis studies Molecular Plant and Microbial Sciences at the University of Cologne and joined the lab for his Master’s thesis. Together with Junli Wang, he works on deciphering protein interactions downstream of pathogen effector recognition in plants. His research aims to understand the underlying mechanisms of helper NLR-mediated cell death inhibition.
Mai Trinh Nguyen
Trinh obtained her Master degree in Singapore studying mammalian immunomodulatory RNAs and RIG-I at The Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, with a strong focus on protein structural biology. She is now working on plant EDS1 heterodimer bound-nucleotide based small molecule signalling and developing in vitro assays and delivery strategies for further investigation.
Anthony comes from the United States and performed his PhD in the laboratory of Dr. Jörn Coers at Duke University, where he studied innate immunity to intracellular bacterial pathogens in mammalian systems. In the Parker Lab, Anthony is interested in how plants facilitate interactions with beneficial soil microorganisms, and how these interactions are shaped by abiotic stress, such as micronutrient deprivation. Additionally, natural soils are populated by complex mixtures of microorganisms that range from host-beneficial to deleterious, and which produce a multitude of molecules that may shape plant-microbe interactions. Accordingly, Anthony is interested in how inputs from such soil communities impact interactions between plants and host-beneficial microorganisms
Lara Van DijckPhD student
Lara comes from Belgium and obtained her Master degree in Biochemistry and Biotechnology at the University of Ghent. She joined the Parker group as a PhD student in April 2022 and is part of the SPP Priority Programme DECRyPT_2125. Lara is studying the role of coumarins in Arabidopsis iron nutrition and how fungal endophyte colonisation influences this process. Her project aims to understand the underlying mechanisms involved in iron metabolism in the context of the interplay between plant roots, coumarins and fungi.
Junli comes from China and she is a postdoc who has joined parker group since 2019. She mainly worked about small RNA biogenesis during her PhD stage. The trade-off between plant growth and immunity greatly picks her curiosity. Therefore, she focuses on signalling events downstream of pathogen recognition, especially the molecular mechanism of TNLs-activated host cell death after completing her PhD project.
Fei XiongPhD student
Fei comes from China. He obtained his Master degree at Nanjing Agricultural University (NAU), jointly training at The Tea Research Institute, Chinese Agricultural Academy Sciences (TRICAAS), where he explored the mechanism of tea plant resistance to Anthracnose fungal disease. He joined the Parker group in 2020 for his PhD. At the Parker lab, he would focus on transcriptional reprogramming process in TNL immunity.