Kai Xun Chan

Kai Xun Chan

Research Fellowship 2023
The Australian National University
Australian Capital Territory

Focus are

Sustainable futures

About me

I aim to resolve a mystery that is fundamental to past, current and future life on Earth: how do plants sense and respond to challenging environments, and how can we improve these responses to safeguard crop yields in the face of climate change? My research program investigates how tiny parts within a plant cell "talk" to each other using small molecules in response to intense heat and sunlight. I then seek to translate these fundamental discoveries into innovative technological solutions for crop yield protection and enhanced food security. In my spare time, I enjoy gardening and cooking with my wife and two young children.
"We need to produce more food in the next thirty years than in the entire history of human civilisation combined (CSIRO, 2008). In Australia, drought and heat stress decrease agricultural productivity by up to 80% and cost our economy $1.1 billion annually. My research addresses the urgent need for transformative solutions in improving crop resilience, thus providing a step change in the race against time to achieve food security."

My passions

  • Plant molecular biology
  • Protein biochemistry
  • Plant cell biology
  • Chemical biology
  • Early career mentoring