2019 Hellman Fellow
Assistant Professor, Plant Sciences
Project Title: Characterizing the Epigenetics of Fruit Susceptibility to Fungal Decay
Project Description: Worldwide, 20-25% of all harvested fruit and vegetables are lost annually due to rotting by fungal pathogens. Studying why fruit become susceptible to fungal diseases will open novel possibilities to provide greater access to fresh produce and to reduce the use of chemical pesticides. The Hellman Fellowship supports innovative research on how particular changes in genetic regulation during fruit ripening impact the ability of fruit to fight disease. The identification of the critical genetic factors that contribute to susceptibility can be leveraged in the future for the breeding of fruit crops that maintain their healthy quality after harvest.