Recognizing Our Authors: Usadel, Aharoni, Fukao, and Sumner

This post is part of the Recognizing our Authors series.

Björn UsadelBjörn Usadel
The Plant Cell, Plant Physiology

Björn Usadel studied biochemistry in Berlin and New York. He went on to pursue a PhD at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology and Potsdam University with Markus Pauly. Afterward he worked with Mark Stitt on carbon metabolism, high throughput data analysis, and omics data visualization. Today Björn is a professor at RWTH Aachen University and a director at “Forschungszentrum Jülich.”

His main areas of interest include carbon metabolism, plant seed mucilage and cell walls, big data and databases, data visualization, and bridging high throughput omics data to phenotyping efforts. He provides several tools such as MapMan, RobiNA, Mercator, and trimmomatic to the community.


Asaph AharoniAsaph Aharoni
The Plant Cell, Plant Physiology

Asaph Aharoni is an associate professor in the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. He earned his MSC at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and his PhD from Wageningen University, Netherlands.

Asaph’s research interests center on uncovering the molecular mechanisms underlying the biosynthesis and regulation of metabolic pathways in plants. His lab combines cutting-edge metabolomics with molecular genetics and computational biology to study secondary/specialized metabolism and its interface with primary metabolism in plant development and stress.

He has been the former chair of the Israel Society of Mass Spectrometry and a member of the Israel Analytical Chemistry Society’s executive committee. Asaph serves as review editor for The Plant Journal. He has been the recipient of a number of awards, including The European Research Council (ERC) grant for starting independent investigators, the James Heineman Research Award for Biological and Biomedical Research, the Weizmann Institute Scientific Council Prize (Levinson Prize in Biology), and the Yigal Alon Fellowship award by the Council for Higher Education in Israel.

Takeshi FukaoTakeshi Fukao
The Plant Cell, Plant Physiology

Takeshi Fukao is currently assistant professor in the Department of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences at Virginia Tech.  Takeshi earned his BS in plant breeding from Kyoto Prefectural University, his MS in agronomy and horticultural sciences from Kyoto University, and his PhD in molecular and environmental plant sciences from Texas A&M University (2002).  Prior to his position at Virginia Tech, Takeshi was a postdoctoral researcher and assistant specialist in the Department of Botany and Plant Sciences at the University of California, Riverside.

His laboratory at Virginia Tech focuses on elucidation of the regulatory mechanisms underlying response and tolerance to submergence, drought, and nutrient deficiency in rice, soybean, and wheat, aiding in the improvement of stress tolerance in the major crop species.

Lloyd SumnerLloyd Sumner
The Plant Cell, Plant Physiology

Lloyd Sumner acquired his Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from Oklahoma State University in 1993. He joined the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation in 1999, where he has risen to the rank of professor within the Plant Biology Division.

Lloyd has built a research program focused on the development and integration of large-scale biochemical profiling of plant metabolites, proteins, and transcripts (metabolomics, proteomics, and transcriptomics) for the discovery and characterization of the molecular and biochemical components related to plant specialized metabolism. He also applies these integrated omics technologies for greater biochemical insight into system responses to genetic and environmental perturbations. His research is or has been graciously supported by the Noble Foundation, NSF 2010, NSF MCB, NSF MRI, NSF-JST, NSF-IOS, and The Oklahoma Commission for the Advancement of Science and Technology.

Lloyd is currently a AAAS fellow, former treasurer and president of the Metabolomics Society, and president-elect of the Phytochemical Society of North America.

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