Simon Stael started his studies in the University of Ghent, Belgium, and finished his Master's thesis in 2007 in Turku, Finland, in the lab of Prof. Eva-Mari Aro. This kick-started his interest in stress acclimation in plants. Thereafter, he did a PhD thesis in Vienna, Austria, on the 'Discovery of organellar calcium signaling components in Arabidopsis thaliana' in the Marie-Curie Initial Training Network 'COSI' (Chloroplast Signals) under the supervision of Dr. Markus Teige. Now (2012) he is back in Ghent for some more discovery with a focus on substrate proteins of metacaspases, with the aim to modulate programmed cell death in Arabidopsis thaliana during pathogen stress. This project is shared between the groups of Prof. Kris Gevaert (VIB Department of Medical Protein Research) and Prof. Frank Van Breusegem.