1991-1995 Ph.D. Microbiology, Texas A&M University, advisor Jim Carrington
1987 B.S. Genetics (Molecular) Cook College at Rutgers University
Professional Work Experience
July 2019-2022 Faculty Fellow of the Institute for Plant Genomics and Biotechnology, Texas A&M University, College Station TX 77845
July2019-Dec2019 Special Assistant to the Vice Chancellor, Texas A&M University, College Station TX 77845
Jan 2017-June 2019 Director, Texas A&M Agrilife Center in Dallas, 17360 Coit Rd, Dallas TX 75252
2017- Professor Plant Virology, Texas A&M University, Dept of Plant Pathology and Microbiology
2018- Adjunct Professor at University of Texas, Dallas
2011-2017 Chief Scientific Officer, VF Canna LLC
2009 -2017 Professor, Oklahoma State University, Dept of Entomology and Plant Pathology,
2004-2009 Associate Professor, Oklahoma State University, Dept of Entomology and Plant Pathology
- Assistant Professor, Oklahoma State University, Dept of Entomology and Plant Pathology
- Post-doctoral Research Scientist. Sainsbury Laboratory, Norwich Research Park, Colney, Advisor: Sir David Baulcombe, FRS
1987-1991 Research Technician, Enichem Americas, Princeton, NJ
Honors and Awards
2019 Fellow of the Institute of Plant Genomics and Biotechnology, Texas A&M University
2015 Regents Distinguished Researcher Award from OSU
2013 President, OSU Sigma XI chapter
2012 Vice-President OSU Sigma Xi chapter
2007 Visiting Scholar, Cambridge University
Dr Verchot’s active research has two main topics involving molecular and cellular biology focusing on virus-host interactions in plant biology. The first involves studying the essential role of the endoplasmic reticulum for virus infection. We study the cell’s adaptive machineries for surviving the impacts of virus infection. This research uses potyviruses and potexviruses infecting Arabidopsis and potato. The ER is a scaffold for virus replication and intercellular movement machineries but also engages in ER to nucleus signaling in response to infection. Our research has unlocked new information about the role of cellular chaperones and ER-bound transcription factors in sensing viral proteins and responding to down regulate infections. Over the past decade Dr Verchot’s team has described a signaling network led by IRE and bZIP60 transcription factor that responds to specific virus elicitor proteins to regulate signaling pathways that control protein folding in the ER, autophagy and programmed cell death. We have begun to identify critical factors in potato that respond to virus infection and can complement genetic mutations in Arabidopsis and yeast. We are also developing gene editing technology in potato to block attacking viruses.
A second program focuses on Rose Rosette Virus (RRV) which is a member of the Emaravirus genus within the family Bunyaviridae. This work has produced an infectious clone of this 7-segment negative strand RNA virus genome, which over expresses GFP and infects Arabidopsis, Nicotiana benthamiana, and roses. This is the first multi-component infectious clone of a negative strand RNA virus infecting plants. This new project examines transcriptional responses to virus infection and examines the plant signaling events that control changes in plant growth in response to virus infection.
Through 20 years of research Dr Verchot has worked on many important research topics including plasmodesmata and vascular transport of plant viruses, silencing suppressor proteins, soilborne viruses, fungal vector interactions with viruses. She has worked also on viruses of ornamental, wheat, and potato crops.