Sang Cho, Class of 2009
Your current job title and description:
Lead Research Scientist
I lead a group of scientist working on finding and developing symbiotic microbes for agricultural crops called endophytes (from Latin, "endo" means in and "phytes" means plants). They are basically probiotics for plants! With endophytes, plants can withstand tremendous amounts of abiotic stress like drought or salt. They also help reduce water and fertilizer usage significantly in stressful conditions. Since all living organisms should have and need beneficial microbes, we do not need to genetically modify the plants since we are just putting back what should already naturally be there in the first place! With this technology, we are aiming to feed the growing population in an ever-changing world.
Your education/jobs you have been in that led to your current career:
University of Washington, BS in Environmental Science and Resource Management, Option in Environmental Horticulture and Restoration Ecology.
Three years of undergraduate research with endophytes in rice plants to improve food yields under high atmospheric carbon dioxide stress.
Your future career plans if you are interested in changing your career:
I'm quite lucky to love my job and have no plans to leave my career anytime soon. Whenever I am through with science, though, I'll pursue professional photography and/or culinary endeavors to try something new.
Your proudest moment since high school:
The moment I realized I was approaching life all wrong. I was too worried about grades and success to enjoy what really matters, living life. Stop and enjoy what's around you. Find what matters to you and do it. Don't just seize the day, but seize all of life, it definitely goes by in a blink of an eye.
One piece of advice for high school students:
Just be yourself. Don't worry about what others think, be true to yourself and be happy: it always works out in the end.