Eunyoung Chae

Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences

National University of Singapore

About me

Eunyoung Chae is a plant geneticist who started her position as Assistant Professor in Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore in December, 2017. Her research area includes plant immunity, natural variation, trait evolution, and hybrid performances. She grew up in S. Korea (BSc/MSc from Seoul National University) and moved to the States to pursue her Ph.D. at Yale University, where she was trained as a developmental geneticist. She then sought to broaden her expertise in natural variation and genome evolution during her postdoctoral training at the MaxPlanck Institute in Tübingen, Germany. An ambitious large-scale hybridization experiment, using the model species Arabidopsisthaliana natural accessions, was carried out during that time by her and her colleagues. Her postdoctoral work identified particular immune components that cannot be combined in a genome due to their propensity to trigger postzygotic defects such as autoimmunity. This work brought unconventional insights on the evolution of the plant immune system and its constraint and contribution to trait evolution. The Chae lab continues to investigate non-additive genetic interactions between plant immune components and to develop a predictable model linking immune system diversity and growth traits, particularly in hybrid plants.


The Chaelab has strength in genome-wide investigation on plant immune traits using QTL and GWAS approaches in the model plant Arabidopsisthaliana and is currently transferring the knowledge to the sister species, Brassica rapa. The complicated, but individualized plant immune system requires a great deal of non-conventional experimental approaches with an emphasis on integrating multidisciplinary approaches, for which Dr. Chae is specialized. Her original works were published in the internationally renowned journals, including Cell, PNAS, Currently Biology and PLoS Genetics. The PI is also an ardent community server, contributing as an Associate Editor for the society journal, Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions since 2019. She was also invited to chair the concurrent session, Evolution and Ecology for the 30th International Conference on Arabidopsis Research, 2019.




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