Ph. D., Dartmouth College (2008)
M. S., Pohang University of Science and Technology (2002)
B. E., Yonsei University (2000)

Professional Training and Experience

Assistant Scientist, University of Wisconsin-Madison (2014-2015)
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Teaching Fellow, University of Wisconsin-Madison (2013)
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Wisconsin-Madison (2009-2014)

Teaching Interests

I teach Molecular Genetics, Biochemistry, and an advanced seminar, Biology of Metals.  

Molecular Genetics explores the structure, function, regulation, and interaction of genes at a molecular level. Biochemistry deals with the chemical processes that relate to life, including the structure, function, and interaction of molecules; flow of energy; and metabolic pathways that occur in a cell or a living organism.  Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry are closely related subfields of molecular biology highly relevant to my own area of research.

My seminar focuses on the molecular and cellular biology of metals.  Topics of discussion include metal homeostasis strategies, role of metals in biochemical processes, inherited metal metabolism disorders, and genetics of hyperaccumulators.  We also discuss prospects of manipulating metal homeostasis to aid human health and environmental sustainability.  

Research Interests

Iron is a metal nutrient essential for nearly all organisms and plays vital roles in fundamental metabolic processes. Paradoxically, the chemical properties that make iron beneficial can cause toxic effects if iron is present in excess or improperly localized. Therefore, iron is tightly regulated at the molecular, cellular, and organismal levels.

My research focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms that regulate iron in plants. A major global challenge is to sustainably feed the growing population. While caloric malnutrition has significantly decreased, malnutrition of micronutrients, especially iron, affects nearly half of world’s population and is the most deleterious among deficiencies of essential micronutrients. Plants are the primary dietary source of iron worldwide, but plants, especially staple crops, are not rich in iron. To provide a sustainable solution to malnutrition, biofortification, the process of enhancing the nutritional value of crops via selective breeding or genetic engineering, is necessary, and we must understand how iron is regulated in plants to develop strategies for biofortification. Meanwhile, iron is one of the most limiting nutrients for plant growth. Thus, elucidating iron homeostasis in plants is key to improving plant growth, crop yields, and human nutrition.


Amherst College student co-authors are denoted by *.

Clyne M'17* and Jeong J (2019) How Do Bacteria Fight Back Against Viruses?. Front. Young Minds. 7:2.
doi: 10.3389/frym.2019.00002.

Park C '16*, Jeong J. (2018) Synergistic cellular responses to heavy metal exposure: a minireview. Biochim. Biophys. Acta, Gen. Subj. 1862:1584-1591. doi: 10.1016/j.bbagen.2018.04.003.

Jeong J, Merkovich A '17*, Clyne M '18*, Connolly EL. (2017) Directing iron transport in dicots: regulation of iron acquisition and translocation. Curr. Opin. Plant Biol. 39:106-113. doi: 10.1016/j.pbi.2017.06.014.

MacDiarmid CM, Taggart J, Jeong J, Kerdsomboon K, Eide DJ. (2016) Activation of the yeast UBI4 polyubiquitin gene by Zap1 via an intragenic promoter is critical for zinc-deficient growth.  J. Biol. Chem. 291:18880-96. 
doi: 10.1074/jbc.M116.743120.

Jeong J, Eide DJ. (2013) SLC39 family of metal ion transporters.  Mol. Asp. Med. 34:612-619. 
doi: 10.1016/j.mam.2012.05.011. 

Jeong J, Walker J, Wang F, Park JG, Palmer AE, Rorhbach M, Giunta C, Steinmann B, Eide DJ. (2012) Promotion of vesicular zinc efflux by ZIP13 and its implications for spondylocheiro dysplastic Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci.109: E3530-E3538. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1211775110.  
[Recommended by Faculty1000.].

Jeong J, Guerinot ML. (2009) Homing in on iron homeostasis in plants. Trends Plant Sci. 14:280-285. 
doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2009.02.006. 

Jeong J,  Connolly EL. (2009) Iron uptake mechanisms in plants: functions of the FRO family of ferric reductases: Plant Sci. 176:709-714. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0708367105. 

Jeong J Guerinot ML. (2008) Biofortified and bioavailable: The golden standard for plant-based diets. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci.105:1777-1778. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0712330105. 

Jeong J, Cohu C, Kerkeb L, Pilon M, Connolly EL, Guerinot ML. (2008) Chloroplast Fe(III) chelate reductase activity is essential for seedling viability under iron limiting conditions. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 152:2301-2308.

Jeong J, Suh S, Guan C, Tsay YF, Moran N, Oh CJ, An CS, Demchenko KN, Pawlowski K, Lee Y. (2004) A nodule-specific dicarboxylate transporter from alder is a member of the peptide transporter family. Plant Physiol. 134:969-78.

Lee J, Bae H, Jeong J, Lee JY, Yang YY, Hwang I, Martinoia E, Lee Y. (2004) Functional expression of a bacterial heavy metal transporter in Arabidopsis enhances resistance to and decreases uptake of heavy metals. Plant Physiol. 133:589-96. [Recommended by Faculty1000.]