Lab Members


Group shot of lab members



Frances Trail (PI)

Fascinated by fungi, a passion she discovered as a sophomore in college when shFrances Traile had to memorize the life cycle of the wheat rust for her Botany class.  Since then she has focused primarily of fungi of agricultural importance, trying to understand their basic biology and turning that into new ideas to control fungi causing diseases of agricultural crops.



Kristi Gdanetz MacCready (Graduate Assistant)

Interested in how microbes communicate and interact with each other and with plants. My research projects include the characterization of the fungal and bacterial microbioKristi Gdanetz MacCreadyme of a wheat/corn/soybean crop rotation; and manipulation of endophytic fungi in wheat plants to increase resistance against infection by Fusarium graminearum.


Rebecca Shay (Graduate Assistant)


Cristina De Miguel Rojas (Research Associate)

I am interesting in using next-generation sequencing to understand the evolution and genetics of spore germination in different fungal plant pathogens such as Fusarium Cristina De Miguel Rojasgraminearum, Magnaporthe oryzae, Colletotrichum graminicola, Verticillium dhaliae and Venturia inaequalis. Specifically I am looking at RNA-Seq to identify genes that are important during the spore germination process, as well as those that are unique to infective germination, and those that are unique to specific fungi.

Wonyong Kim (Research Associate)

I received my Bachelor’s and Master's degree at Chonnam National University in S.Korea, where I studied on functional and biochemical roles of cold-responsive RNA-binding proteins in Arabidopsis. Then, I came to US to learn about the field of Plant Pathology in Washington State University, pursuing a PhD degree. During my time there, I investigated ecological roles of secondary metabolites produced by plant pathogenic fungi, in terms of pathogenicity, fitness, and survival in nature.

My research in the Trail Lab here in Michigan State University is focused on molecular evolution of fruiting body development in plant pathogenic and saprobic fungi. The primary goal is to identify genes responsible for evolution of novel forms of fruiting bodies by utilizing transcriptomics and systems biology. This project is collaborated with the Townsend lab (Department of Biostatistics, Yale University). This NSF-funded project would contribute to fundamental understanding of how shifts in gene expression drive the evolution of new morphologies in multicellular organisms during sexual stage development and help better understand biology and ecology of fungi, which is relevant to securing our staple crops.

I like playing guitar and tennis, and watching baseball and college football games in a lazy mood.

Ludmilla Roze (Research Assistant Professor)


Haiyan Sun (Visiting Scholar - China)


Maris Laivenieks (Technical Aide)