Jean Ae “Ruth” Kim

Chen lab: I study Phytochrome B (PHYB), an evolutionarily-conserved red and far-red light photoreceptor and temperature sensor in plants that regulates almost every facet of plant development and growth from seed germination to floral initiation. My research goal is to uncover the function of nuclear photo bodies as gene regulatory hubs so that my findings can be applied to improve crop tolerance to environmental stressors. By joining the Plants3D program, I have the unique opportunity to directly test whether photo bodies can act as sites for gene regulation and develop a system that can utilize the intrinsic properties of the photo body to regulate gene expression in any organismal system. Since the Plants3D program encourages cross-disciplinary research and collaboration, I will be more able to take an engineering approach to repurpose naturally occurring photo bodies within plants to create a “synthetic nuclear body” that can turn on or off any target gene of interest.