Principal Investigators:


Ping He

Professor of Biochemistry & Biophysics


Research-Active Faculty

China Agricultural University, China    B.S. 1993
Chinese Academy of sciences, China     M.S. 1998
Kansas State University                            Ph.D. 2003
Harvard Medical School, Boston            Postdoc.2003-2008
Joined Texas A&M in 2009


Libo Shan

Professor of Biochemistry & Biophysics


Research-Active Faculty

Beijing Normal University, China         B.S. 1995
Chinese Academy of sciences, China    M.S. 1998
Kansas State University                           Ph.D. 2003
Harvard Medical School, Boston           Res. Fellow 2003-2008
Joined Texas A&M in 2009


Current postdoctoral fellows and visiting scholars:

Liang Kong



Liang Kong joined the Dr. He and Shan Lab to dissect how plants activate plant defense responses against microorganisms, with a focus on ADP-ribosylation in plant immunity and Fusarium-cotton interaction.


Zunyong Liu


Zunyong Liu got his Ph.D in Zhejiang University in 2017 and joined the lab in Spring of 2018 as a post-doctoral. His primary research interest is to elucidate the function of Fusarium effectors during Fusarium-cotton interaction.


Xiyu Ma


Xiyu Ma is from Yunnan, China. He got his B.S. in Life Science from the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) and started his Ph.D. training in Biochemistry and Biophysics in Texas A&M University. He joined the lab in 2011 and works on signal transduction in Arabidopsis innate immunity. Currently he is working as a Post-doc in the lab. His favorite thing is doing research and reading science news. Outside of science, he enjoys sports, road trip, hiking, handcraft and playing with his kid.

Research experience:

  • Global ubiquitination analysis of flagellin-triggered signaling networks
  • Functional analysis of ubiquitination modification in PAMP-triggered immunity
  • Phosphorylation regulation of plant lipid signal transduction

Ping Wang


Ping Wang joined the lab in November of 2015 as a joint Ph.D. student from China Agricultural University. Her research interest is cotton disease resistance and mainly works on cotton Receptor-Like Kinase (RLKs) mediated defense responses against Fusarium and Verticillium wilt. Currently, she is working as a post-doc in the lab to dissect receptor mediated chitin perception in cotton.


Jun Liu


Jun Liu is from Sichuan, China. He got his B.S. at XinJiang University, Urumqi and Ph.D. at Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou in China. He joined the lab as a post-doc on June in 2018. He interests in the Pattern Recognition Receptors (PRRs)-mediated signal transduction in plant innate immunity, including plant genetics, protein complexes, phosphorylation and ubiquitination et al. His enjoys fishing.

Junhyeok Kim 


 Junhyeok Kim is from Gyeongju, South Korea. He got his Bachelors, M.S and Ph.D at Korea University. During his Ph.D he studied how plant transcription factors regulate abiotic stress signaling pathway. After finishing his Ph.D. he joined Alex Webb group in Cambridge University as a post-doc to study NAD signaling in circadian clock and abiotic stress. He joined the lab on November 2018 as a poct-doc to work on ADP-ribosylation in plant immunity.


Dexuan Luo  


Dexian Luo received her Ph.D in genetics from Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2013. She joined the lab as a Postdoc in 2019. In general, she is interested in understanding how plants communicate with the biotic and abiotic factors in nature. Currently, her research centers on the roles of plant receptor-like kinases in regulating plant immunity.


Derui Liu


Derui obtained his PhD degree in Genetics at Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology (SIPPE), SIBS CAS in 2013. Followed that, he did his postdocs with Prof. Tobias Baskin at University of Massachusetts Amherst working on the nanomechanics of cellulose and cellulose synthesis, with Prof. Jenny Russinova at PSB-VIB studying the mechanisms of BRI1 endocytosis. He joined the lab in Nov. 2019 focusing on how Receptor-like kinases contribute to innate immunity in Arabidopsis.

Yan Yan


Yan Yan got his Ph.D in University of Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2016 and spent three years in UC-Davis as a postdoc working on the long-distance signaling transduction in plant. Then he joined our lab in Dec. 2019 as a post-doc research associate. Now, his primary research interest is to illustrate post-transcriptional regulations in plant immunity responses in Arabidopsis.


Fausto Andrés Ortiz-Morea 


Dr. Fausto Andrés Ortiz-Morea received a doctorate in plant genetics, biochemistry, and biotechnology jointly supervised by the University of São Paulo (Brazil) and Ghent University (Belgium) in 2015. He is a researcher from Universidad de la Amazonia in Colombia that has received funding from the Pew Latin American Fellows Program in the Biomedical Sciences to do research in conjunction with Texas A&M AgriLife Research. His study will include investigating how plants integrate and execute an immune response against invading pathogens. He will also explore how plants manage to launch a two-tiered immune response when components from each of the separate pathways interact with a common set of receptors. This work could generate significant excitement in understanding the convergent immune signaling against infections in plants and animals.


Incheol Yeo


Incheol is from South Korea and he received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Chung-Ang University in Korea. During his M.S. course, he studied the interspecies interaction of antibiotic-producing microorganisms with pathogens. He earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry at Texas A&M University where he studied with Dr. Timothy Devarenne working on phytohormone-regulated host plant defense against a bacterial pathogen. He joined the lab in June 2020 as a post-doc. He works on understanding mechanisms of activation for a resistance protein inducing cell death and proteomics of plant immunity proteins.


Gretchen Kroh


Gretchen Kroh received her Ph.D from Colorado State University in 2020 where she studied plant physiological and molecular responses to iron deficiency. She joined the lab as a post doc in 2020 to study the interaction between ion homeostasis and plant immune responses.



Current graduate students:

Ana Escocard


Ana Escocard joined the lab in summer of 2012 as undergrad funded by Science without Borders Program (Brazil). She worked in two screenings of Arabidopsis mutants with abnormal defense responses and involved cell death regulation. Ana is from Brazil where she got her Bachelors in Biological Science. She decided to come back and join the lab as a Ph.D. student in Spring of 2015. Her graduate study program is affiliated with Plant Pathology and Microbiology Department (PLPM) at Texas A&M University. Now, her main research consists in identify and characterize the function of coreceptors SERKs in Physcomitrella patens.  In addition to her research, Ana enjoys reading, traveling and cooking.

Research experience:

  • Identification, and characterization of SERKs in Physcomitrella patens
  • Functional plasticity of shared signaling components in plant immunity, growth, cell differentiation and cell death
  • Identification of signaling components involved in the regulation of cell death
  • Genetic dissection of plant immune gene expression and defense responses
  • Mechanisms that affect the efficiency of plant colonization by plant growth promoting bacteria resistant to abiotic stress.

Pierce Jamieson


Pierce Jamieson joined the lab in 2016 and studies the recognition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMP) by leucine-rich repeat-containing receptor-like proteins (RLPs) and receptor-like kinases (RLKs) at the plant cell surface using Arabidopsis thaliana and Gossypium hirsutum as model organisms. Pierce received his B.S. in biology from Texas A&M University.


Brendan Mormile


Brendan joined the lab in the Spring of 2018. Currently, he is developing a virus vector-based delivery system for the components of CRISPR/Cas9. Brendan ultimately plans to use this novel gene editing technique to produce genetically modified cotton plants independent of tissue culture regeneration. Prior to coming to Texas A&M, he completed a B.S in biology from Merrimack College and a M.S in biology from Southern Connecticut State University.


Chao Zhang

Chao Zhang got his Bachelor and Master’s in Plant Pathology at China Agricultural University mainly focusing on studying the interaction between plant host and virus. He is working on the functional analysis of genes involved in plant immunity. Chao is trying to unravel how some genes, which play interesting roles in regulating PAMPs or effector triggered immunity, work in Arabidopsis and cotton. Besides his research, he likes to play sports such as tennis and badminton.


Barbara Rodrigues


Barbara Rodrigues joined the lab in Spring of 2018 as a Graduate Student from the Plant Pathology department. She has been working with molecular genetic analysis of plant innate immunity. Barbara is from Brazil, where she got her Bachelors in Biotechnology and a M.S in Genetics and Biochemistry.



Lahong Xu 

Lahong joined the lab in August 2018. She got her Bachelors at Hainan Medical University, and her M.S at Sun Yat-Sen University. Her research interests is scRNA-seq and the applications of Machine Learning in Biology.




Catherine Danmaigona Clement

Catherine is a Ph.D. student in Plant Breeding and Genetics program, working on cotton breeding in affiliation with Dr. Jane Dever and Dr. Steve Hague. She joined the lab in November 2018. Her current research interests are breeding for Fusarium wilt race 4 (Fov4) resistance of cotton using molecular tools and gene editing techniques. Her research focuses on de novo genome assembly and annotation, comparative and functional genomics of fungal wilt pathogens of cotton. Her research also involves identification of Fov4 R-genes and Avr genes by Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS).


Visiting students/scholars

Chuanchun Yin


Chuanchun Yin joined the lab joined the lab in October of 2016 as a joint PhD student.

Research experience:

  • Screening of mekk1 cell death suppressor by VIGS in Arabidopsis
  • Genetic analysis of one mekk1 partial suppressor
  • Functional analysis of AtRALF genes in Arabidopsis


Dongdong Ge


Dongdong Ge joined the lab in Jan. 2019 as a joint PhD student from Nanjing Agricultural University. His primary research interest is how pattern recognition receptors (PRRs)-mediated immune signaling at the plasma membrane is monitored by intracellular nucleotide-binding leucine-rich repeat proteins (NLRs).


Lin Zhou


Lin Zhou joined the lab in December of 2018 as a joint Ph.D. student from China Agricultural University, her research interest is cotton abiotic stress, mainly focusing on the role of phosphatase in cotton salt stress response.





Ali Nabhani


Ali joined the lab in the summer of 2020 as the lab technician, prior to which he graduated from TAMU in the spring of 2020 having double-majored in biochemistry and genetics. He hopes to escape the Texas humidity and go on to graduate school somewhere in the northeast. Besides research and lab work, he’s a devoted boxer at the Bryan Boxing Club and enjoys reading for his book club with friends.





(Dec 2018)


Former Lab members:

Graduate students:

  • Kevin Cox (PLPM Ph.D., graduated in 2018)
  • Guangyuan Xu (MEPS Ph.D, graduated in 2016)
  • Jinggen Zhou (BICH Ph.D, graduated in 2015)
  • Wenwei Lin (PLPM Ph.D, graduated in 2015, now works as a Postdoc at UC, riverside)
  • Shan Jiang (PLPM Ph.D, graduated in 2015, now works as a scientist at Merck company, China)
  • Cheng Cheng (BICH Ph.D, graduated in 2013)
  • Xin Chen (PLPM MS, graduated in 2013)
  • Yulan Zhang (PLPM MS, graduated in 2010)

Postdoctoral researchers:

  • Xiao Yu
  • Bo Li
  • Fangjun Li
  • Xiangzong Meng (Professor in Shanghai Univeristy)
  • Hyung-GonMang
  • Marcos Oliveira (Postdoc at University of Wisconsin–Madison)
  • Fanhong Meng
  • Fuhao Cui (Associate Professor in China Agriculture University)
  • Xiquan Gao (Professor in Nanjing Agricultural University)
  • Dongping Lu (Professor in Chinese Academy of Sciences)
  • Shujing Wu (Professor in Shandong Agricultural University)

Visiting students and scholars:

  • Yong Yang
  • Yanyan Huang
  • Taotao Wang
  • Shijuan Dou
  • Lizhu Wu
  • Roma Mustafa
  • Luciano Vespoli (Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Brazil)
  • Shuqiao Guo (Jiangsu Academy of Agricultural Sciences, China)
  • Giselle Mendes (Assistant Professor in Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Brazil)
  • Humberto Henriquec (Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Brazil)
  • Chuandeng Yi (Yangzhou University, China)
  • Jie Zhou (Fujian Agriculture & Forestry University, China)
  • Aline C. Intorne (Associate Professor in North State University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
  • Maoying Li (China Agricultural University)
  • Stéfanie Meneces de Moura (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro)
  • Shuguo Hou

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