Photo of Sang Wook ParkSang Wook Park

Assistant Professor




Ph.D., 2004, Plant Biochemistry, Colorado State University

Research Interests

Our research focuses on understanding at the molecular, biochemical and cellular levels how plants sense and equilibrate constant environmental challenges. We are especially interested in plant hormones such as jasmonates, salicylates and their related molecules that mobilize intricate signaling networks attuning genomic, proteomic and metabolomic circuitries in disease resistance and stress acclimation. Our ongoing studies are to decipher 1) the genome-scale delineation of cellular regulators that relay hormone signaling, 2) hormone-responsive cellular redox homeostasis, 3) the redox-dependent transmission of hormone-signaled gene expression, and 4) the therapeutic properties and mechanisms of plant hormones.


Lab members

Wenshan Liu, Ph.D. program  (

Heather N. Gosse, M.S. program (

Izailda Barbosa dos Santos, M.S. program (

Alexis Jones, Work study (



Cheong H, Barbosa dos Santos I, Liu W, Gosse HN, Park SW (2017) Cyclophilin 20-3 is positioned as a regulatory hub between light-dependent redox and 12-oxo-phytodienoic acid signaling. Plant Signal Behav, e1362520.

Gosse HN, Lawrence KS, Park SW (2017) Underground mystery: The role of chemotactic attractant in plant roots and phytonematode interactions. Innovative Techniques in Agriculture, 1.2: 83-87.

Choi HW, Tina M, Manohar M, Harraz MM,, Park SW, Schroeder FC, Klessig DF (2015) Human GAPDH is a target of aspirin’s primary metabolite salicylic acid and its derivatives. PLoS One, 10: e0143447.

Choi HW, Tian M, Song F, Venereau E, Preti A, Park SW, Hamilton K, Swapna GV, Manohar M, Moreau M, Agresti A, Gorzanelli A, De Marchis F, Wang H, Antonyak M, Micikas RJ, Gentile DR, Cerione RA, Schroeder FC, Montelione GT, Bianchi ME, Klessig DF (2015) Aspirin’s active metab-olite salicylic acid targets high mobility group box 1 to modulate inflammatory responses. Mol Med, 18: 526-535.

Manohar M, Tian M, Moreau M, Park SW, Choi HW, Fei Z, Friso G, Asif M, Manosalva P, von Dahl CC, Shi K, Ma S, Diensh-Kumar S, O’Doherty I, Schroeder FC, van Sijk KJ, Klessig DF (2015) Identi-fication of multiple salicylic acid-binding proteins using two high throughput screens. Front Plant Sci, 5: 777.

Park SW, Li W, Viehhauser A, He B, Kim S, Nilsson AK, Andersson MX, Kittle JD, Ambavaram MMR, Luan S, Coaker G, Esker AR, Tholl D, Cimini D, Ellerstrom M, Mitchell TK, Pereira A, Dietz K-J, Lawrence CB (2013) Cyclophilin 20-3 relays a 12-oxo-phytodienoic acid signal during stress responsive regulation of cellular redox homeostasis. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 110: 9559-9564.

Liu P, von Dahl C, Park SW, Klessig DF (2011) Interconnection between methyl salicylate and lip-id-based long distance signaling during the development of systemic acquired resistance in Arabidopsis and tobacco. Plant Physiol, 155: 1762-1768.

Manosalva P, Park SW, Forouhar F, Tong L, Fry W, Klessig DF (2010) Methyl Esterase 1 (StMES1) is required for systemic acquired resistance in potato. Mol Plant Microbe In, 23: 1151-1163.

Park SW, Liu PP, Forouhar F, Vlot AC, Tong L, Tietjen K, Klessig DF (2009) Use of a synthetic salicylic acid analog to investigate the roles of methyl salicylate and its esterases in plant disease resistance. J Biol Chem, 284: 7303-7317.

Kim KH, Willger S, Park SW, Puttikamonkul S, Grahl N, Cho Y, Mukhopadhyay B, Cramer RA, Lawrence CB. (2009) TmpL, a novel transmem-brane protein is required for oxidative stress homeo-stasis and virulence in plant and animal fungal pathogens. PLoS Pathogens, 5: e1000653.

Vlot AC, Klessig DF, Park SW (2008) Systemic acquired resistance: the elusive signal(s). Curr Opin Plant Biol, 11: 436-42.

Vlot AC, Liu P, Cameron R, Park SW, Yang Y, Kumar D, Zhou F, Padukkavidana T, Gustafsson C, Pi-chersky E, Klessig DF (2008) Identification of likely orthologs of tobacco salicylic acid-binding protein 2 and their role in systemic acquired resistance in Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant J, 56: 445-456.

Park SW, Kaimoyo E, Kumar D, Mosher S, Klessig DF (2007) Methyl salicylate is a critical mobile signal for plant systemic acquired resistance. Science, 318: 113-116.

Park SW, Prithiviraj B, Vepachedu R, Vivanco JM (2006) Isolation and purification of ribosome-inactivating proteins. Methods Mol Biol, 318: 335-347.

Forouhar F, Yang Y, Kumar D, Chen Y, Park SW, Chiang Y, Acton TB, Montelione GT, Pichersky E, Klessig DF, Tong L (2005) Crystal structure and biochemical studies identify tobacco SABP 2 as a methylsalicylate esterase and further implicate it in plant innate immunity. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 102: 1773-1778.

Vepachedu R, Park SW, Sharma N, Vivanco JM (2005) Bacterial expression and enzymatic activity analysis of ME1, a ribosome-inactivating protein from Mirabilis expansa. Protein Expres Purifi, 40: 142-151.

Park SW, Vepachedu R, Sharma N, Vivanco JM (2004) Ribosome-inactivating proteins in plant biology. Planta, 219: 1093-1096.

Park SW, Vepachedu R, Owens RA, Vivanco JM (2004) The N-glycosidase activity of ribosome-inactivating protein ME1 targets single-stranded regions of nucleic acids independent of sequence or structural motifs. J Biol Chem, 279: 34165-34174.

Park SW, Hwang B-H, Kim WY, Kim J (2004) Changes in cell wall carbohydrates composition and Ca distribution of Brassica campestris ssp. pekinesis in relation to Erwinia polygalactronase production during soft rot development. J Kor Soc Hor Sci, 45: 223-232.

Sharma N, Park SW, Vepachedu R, Barbieri L, Ciani M, Stirpe F, Savary BJ, Vivanco JM (2004) Isolation and characterization of an RIP-like protein from Nicotiana tabacum with dual enzymatic activity. Plant Physiol, 134: 171-181.

Sharma N, Gruszewski H, Park SW, Holm D, Vivanco JM (2004) Purification of an isoform of patatin with antimicrobial activity against Phytophthora infestans. Plant Physiol Bioch, 42: 647-655.

Weir TL, Park SW, Vivanco JM (2004) Biochemical and physiological mechanisms mediated by allelochemicals. Curr Opin Plant Biol, 7: 472-279.

Bais HP, Park SW, Weir TL, Callaway RM, Vivanco JM (2004) How plants communicate using root exudates. Trends Plant Sci, 9: 26-32.

Park SW, Lawrence CB, Linden JC, Vivanco JM (2002) Isolation and characterization of a novel ribosome-inactivating protein from root cultures of pokeweed and its mechanisms of secretion from roots. Plant Physiol, 130: 164-178.

Park SW, Stevens NM, Vivanco JM (2002) Enzymatic specificity of three ribosome-inactivating proteins against fungal ribosomes, and correlation with antifungal activity. Planta, 216: 227-234.


Research Opportunities

Research positions are available for undergraduate and graduate students in the areas of biochemistry, molecular biology, plant immunology and stress physiology, microbiology (contact: