The Department of Genetics, Development and Cell Biology (GDCB) welcomes new faculty member Kyaw (Joe) Aung. Aung joined GDCB in mid-August as an assistant professor. His area of expertise is cell biology at the plant-microbe interface.
“We are very excited that Joe has joined the department,” GDCB Chair Yanhai Yin said. “Joe’s expertise in plant-microbe interactions will further enhance GDCB research strength in stress biology, and his background in cell biology will help us to achieve our teaching mission.”
About joining the department, Aung said, “I am honored to become the newest member of the GDCB family. I am very grateful for the tremendous support from the whole community during this transition, and I am looking forward to becoming a contributing member in the years to come. In my laboratory, we will study the dynamic interactions between plant and pathogenic microbes at molecular and cellular level.”
Aung received his bachelor of science and master of science in horticulture from National Chung Hsing University, Taiwan. Before pursuing his doctorate, he was a research assistant in the Agricultural Biotechnology Research Center at Academia Sinica, Taiwan. He earned his Ph.D. from Michigan State University (MSU) under the guidance of Dr. Jianping Hu. He conducted his postdoctoral research at MSU with Dr. Sheng-Yang He where he examined plant-microbe interactions. In 2016, Aung received a National Institutes of Health Pathway to Independence Award.
Also joining the department as an associate scientist is Aung’s wife, Yani Chen. Yani will be focusing on studying the dynamic cellular interactions between rice and a fungal pathogen.