Sorrel Tran


  • Time Zone

  • Organization
    University of Georgia

  • Role
    Scientist Mentor: I will mentor teams of students online

  • Research Interests (300 words)
    I am an aspiring plant pathologist studying the mechanisms behind age related resistance. I conduct research on the hormone signaling pathways in Arabidopsis, a model plant. My goal is to understand the molecular mechanisms behind diseases and how plant defense systems work. My ultimate aim is to work with large agricultural institutions to identify and alleviate different plant diseases that are affecting major crop species like rice, corn, tomatoes, wheat, and tobacco.

  • Profile Question 1
    What lessons have you learned in your career about how science works?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 1 here (300 words):
    Science is not perfect and it is not easy. There are a lot of ups and downs, and sometimes you will have more failures than successes. But when your experiment works and you have substantial results, that outcome makes all of the work worth it. Science is so rewarding and learning is such an important part of my career. It's so fascinating to go to lab or class every day and learn something new and then be able to apply that knowledge to my experiments or to transmit that knowledge to my peers. Science is very collaborative and teamwork is so important. Talking to other scientists can help you develop new ideas and you can also troubleshoot, because chances are, they've encountered a similar, if not the same, issue at some point.

  • Profile Question 2
    What is your favorite plant? Why?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 2 here (300 words):
    My favorite plant is oxalis acetosella, or wood sorrel. I first discovered this plant at a friend's house, where it was growing in a large pot in the bathroom. It was not the main plant in that pot though, there was an ornamental tree in the same pot and the oxalis just happened to be there at the base of the tree. I found it so fascinating because the leaves would "close" at night, and when the sun came back out, they would open up again. This kickstarted a lot of Googling as to what this plant was and why this phenomena occurred. I later learned about this specific mechanism (phototropism) in my plant biology class, and I was so excited because I was able to connect my real life experience to something that I had learned in one of my college courses.

  • Profile Question 3
    What is the coolest thing you have discovered or learned about plants?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 3 here (300 words):
    Plants have many systems in place to protect themselves from harmful pathogens. They have guard cells which can close their stomata and protect them from diseases penetrating them through their leaves. Plants use photosynthesis as a means to produce sugar and food for their survival, and this is actually a complex system. Plants are so self-substantial, but they are not like animal or human organisms, which have specific nervous systems which control their actions.

  • Capacity: How many teams at a time are you comfortable working with?

Recent Posts

No recent activity.

Skills & Endorsements

  • Challenges Student Thinking
    Pornpipat "Paul" Kasemsap
  • Encouraging
    Pornpipat "Paul" Kasemsap