Jari Valkonen is professor of plant pathology and director of the Doctoral School in Environmental, Food and Biosciences, one of the four doctoral schools of University of Helsinki, Finland. His research laboratory is supported by funding from EU and national donors, active in doctoral education and a member of ERASMUS and COST networks. Research is focused on pathogen defence in plants, molecular virus-plant interactions, and the mechanisms by which viruses suppress or circumvent host defence. Experimental approaches range from proteomics, genomics, small-RNA deep-sequencing, genetic engineering and various protein interaction and non-invasive cell imaging techniques to greenhouse and field experiments. Valkonen leads also applied projects involving partners from the private sector. He has long-standing collaboration in research training with countries in East Africa and Latin America.
Valkonen has worked as a group leader in Institute of Biotechnology, Helsinki, research fellow and professor of Academy of Finland, professor of virology at Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Sweden, and researcher in the U.S.A., United Kingdom and International Potato Center, Peru. He is a visiting professor of Kinki University, Japan. He has served as a chair of international scientific task groups (ICTV) and societies (EAPR) and editorial boards of international journals. He is Editor-in-Chief of Annals of Applied Biology (UK). Valkonen has received the Richard Francki Award of the Virology Division of the International Union of Microbiological Societies (IUMS).