Dr. Stephen Thompson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Instruction and Teacher Education at the University of South Carolina. Dr. Thompson’s research interests center on improving elementary and middle level science education, especially in high-need communities, through reform-based teaching strategies. This website centers on a strand of his research, development of curricular materials and instructional approaches designed to enhance learners’ conceptions of inter-related plant processes (photosynthesis, cellular respiration, and transpiration). This website features Dr. Thompson’s related professional development efforts with science teachers.

Zhengqing Fu is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of South Carolina, Columbia. His lab investigates how plants activate salicylic acid-mediated plant defense against pathogen infection and how plant pathogens disrupt salicylic acid-mediated plant defense to cause diseases. Salicylic acid is the active ingredient in the popular drug aspirin. In plants, salicylic acid is a major plant hormone, which is required for plant defense against pathogen infection. He also teaches an upper level biochemistry class.