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CALS faculty and staff honored for outstanding achievements in their fields

Two accomplished geneticists whose work benefits farmers in New York and around the world, a skilled entomologist whose results are applicable to insects and human immune systems, and a respected adviser on nutrition and school lunch policy were among those honored Nov. 5 for outstanding achievements in their fields.

Kathryn Boor, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of Agriculture and Life Sciences, presented awards to 17 faculty and staff members as part of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences' (CALS) ninth annual Research and Extension Awards.

Recipients of the awards were:

  • Quirine Ketterings, associate professor of animal science, for Outstanding Accomplishments in Applied Research. Ketterings' achievements include leading Cornell's Nutrient Management Spear Program, which provides strategies for managing nutrients in ways that benefit farmers and watersheds.
  • Mark Sorrells, professor of plant breeding and genetics, for Outstanding Accomplishments in Applied Research. A world-renowned cereal breeder and geneticist, Sorrells' innovations include genomic selection, which is dramatically enhancing breeding efficiency.
  • John Helmann, professor of microbiology, for Outstanding Accomplishments in Basic Research. A top authority in microbial biochemistry, Helmann's work has advanced the understanding of chemotherapeutics and how the immune system fights pathogens.
  • Dan Luo, professor of biological and environmental engineering, for Outstanding Accomplishments in Basic Research. Luo created the first DNA-based hydrogel, which can be molded into different shapes for applications including controlled drug release and tissue engineering.
  • Larry Chase, professor of animal science, for Outstanding Accomplishments in Extension/Outreach -- Individual. Among Chase's achievements has been lowering nitrogen and phosphorus levels in dairy rations, thereby decreasing nutrient input into the environment while maintaining farm productivity.
  • Tro Bui, M.S. '64, Ph.D. '66; Jean Griffiths '76, M.P.S. '05; Debbie Grusenmeyer '98, M.P.S. '05; Dana Palmer, M.S. '90; and Tatiana Stanton, Ph.D. '90, extension associates in animal science, for Outstanding Accomplishments in Extension/Outreach -- Team. This group has enhanced young people's knowledge and skills in animal biology through on- and off-campus partnerships, curriculum development and teacher training.
  • Brian Wansink, professor of applied economics and management in the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, for Outstanding Accomplishments in Science and Public Policy. Wansink is a White House adviser on school lunch policy. His research has led to change in more than 12,000 schools across the country.
  • Brian Lazzaro, associate professor of entomology, received the Early Achievement Award. Among Lazzaro's successes has been demonstrating the plasticity of the immune defense system in response to diverse factors. Results of his work are applicable not only to insects but, broadly, to all animals -- including humans.
  • Volker Vogt, professor of molecular biology and genetics, received the Career Accomplishment Award. His research has focused on the pathway by which retroviruses, like HIV, assemble within cells and then escape to infect new cells.
  • Margaret Smith '78, Ph.D. '82, professor of plant breeding and genetics, for Outstanding Service to the CALS Community. In addition to her work improving the adaptation of corn to marginal environments in New York and around the world, Smith has helped many extension educators bring international expertise to places where it is urgently needed.

Boor also recognized Amy Anderson, administrative assistant in plant pathology and plant-microbe biology; Steven Bogdanowicz '82, research support specialist in ecology and evolutionary biology; andTammy Thomas, business administrator in international programs, with the college's Core Value Staff Awards.

"These recipients show exceptional respect, honor and integrity. They are truly committed to the college and its advancement as a world-class educational institution," Boor said.

Kate Frazer is the agricultural stations communications officer for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

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John Carberry