Won-Gyu Choi joins CABNR's Dry Land Agricultural Center
The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology has hired plant cellular and molecular biologist Won-Gyu Choi as an assistant professor. Having grown up in South Korea and receiving both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Woosuk University, Choi was accepted into the Ph.D. program at the University of Tennessee. From there, Choi took multiple positions at the University of Wisconsin- Madison (UW-Madison) that focused on signal transduction in plant and spent the next six years researching how plants respond to salt stress among other things, including gravity response.
When asked why the University of Nevada Choi said, “The biggest motivation for coming was the prospect of working on plant abiotic stress in the newly proposed Dry Land Agricultural Center. I was also pleasantly surprised with how many collaboration opportunities have presented themselves and the support that is offered by the senior faculty at UNR.”
Arriving at UNR in 2016, Choi, in collaboration with UW-Madison, continues work funded through NASA that investigates how plants will respond to life in space, with hopes of sending the experiments to the International Space Station in the near future.
With a robust understanding of how model plants respond to environmental stress, Choi is now interested in translating this knowledge into a more applied field, with a primary focus on how plants such as rice, soy bean, cabbage and tomatoes deal with salty soils, freezing temperatures and water deficiencies.