Koichi Sugimoto joins Yamaguchi University, Japan, as Assistant Professor

  • Sep 20, 2018
  • Howe lab, future scientists
  • Future Scientists
  • By Igor Houwat

Koichi Sugimoto will join the Science Research Center at Yamaguchi University in Japan as Assistant Professor.

Koichi will train and maintain facilities, including teaching a class on analytical chemistry and a lab course to training students how to use available equipment. He will manage a variety of scientific equipment, including confocal microscopes, fluorescent/luminescent image scanners, large bacterial fermenters, and more.

Koichi joined the lab of Gregg Howe at the PRL in 2013 as a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science fellow and remained as a post-doc. He started a research project on the divergence of herbivore defense responses among domesticated and wild tomato species, in collaboration with Ming-Jung Liu from the Shiu lab. He also researched metabolic regulation in tomato trichomes, the little hairs on the surface that are probably the first layer of defense from caterpillars and other pests.

“I am very happy to start a new position and hope to continue collaborating with my current colleagues,” Koichi says. “I will apply for research grants in Japan, and my MSU experiences and connections should help me start new projects. I want to continue working on why plants deploy specialized metabolites to defend against herbivores and how to synthesize and diversify the chemicals and the biosynthetic pathways that produce them.”

“In addition to the Howe and Shiu labs, I want to thank Dan Jones' lab, Rob Last's lab, Corny Barry's lab, and Erich Grotewold's lab for their support.”

“It has been a privilege to work together with Koichi on research projects aimed at understanding the chemical basis of plant interactions with other organisms. His deep level of expertise in analytical biochemistry, combined with his scientific leadership and enthusiasm for collaboration, has been a tremendous asset to our lab,” Gregg Howe says. “I wish Koichi all the best in his new position and look forward to the possibility of continuing our collaboration in the future.”

Koichi earned his Ph.D in Life Sciences from Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Sciences.

Good luck Koichi!