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Cambridge Infectious Diseases

An Interdisciplinary Research Centre at the University of Cambridge

Studying at Cambridge


Dr Sebastian Schornack

Dr Sebastian  Schornack

Gatsby Research Group Leader

We study plant processes underlying the accommodation of beneficial and pathogenic microbes.

Research Interests

Our research aims at elucidating core host processes facilitating the accommodation of pathogenic and symbiotic filamentous microbes and fungi within plant organs, tissues and cells. We utilise the pathogenic oomycete Phytophthora palmivora and symbiotic arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi and study their interactions with non-vascular liverwort plants as well as with flowering plants. Furthermore, we elucidate the role of secreted microbial effector proteins for development of plant cells into intracellular accommodation structures. This work will reveal the boundaries between symbiosis and pathogenesis and will provide novel insights into plant development driven by biotic cues.


  • Genomics
  • Evolution
  • Pathogen Evolution
  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Host-Pathogen Interaction
  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • Innate Immunity
  • Pathogenesis
  • Phytophthora
  • Bioinformatics
  • Plant Pathogens
  • Signalling
  • Gene Expression
  • Oomycetes
  • Gene Regulation
  • Plant infection