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Jocelyn Rose to lead Institute for Biotechnology and Life Sciences Technologies

Jocelyn Rose, professor of plant biology, has been named the new director of the Institute for Biotechnology and Life Science Technologies, effective Jan. 1.

The institute, which was established in 1983, promotes research, education and technology transfer to benefit the life sciences industries, including agriculture and medicine; encourages the education and training of biologists, engineers, agricultural personnel and medical scientists; and brings together university scientists conducting research in the biological and physical sciences.

"My main responsibility as director will be to promote and enhance research and infrastructure associated with life sciences at Cornell," said Rose. "The university is widely recognized for its excellence in a number of areas, including genomics, proteomics, nanotechnology and agricultural biotechnology, and I will be working with the institute staff to ensure that pre-eminence in those fields is maintained and that we stay at the cutting edge in developing and adopting new technologies."

Rose will also act as a liaison between Cornell and such New York state agencies as the New York State Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research (NYSTAR), which funds Cornell's Center for Advanced Technology. Rose will also oversee the McGovern Family Center for Venture Development, due to be launched in 2010. Both these centers are involved in developing collaborations between the university and industries and transferring technology from Cornell into commercially viable products produced in the private sector.

Rose's own research focuses on the structure, function and metabolism of plant cell walls and their role in the growth, development and interactions with pathogens. He uses functional genomics and proteomics to identify and characterize novel cell wall proteins with diverse and currently unknown and unexploited functions.

"We hope that this information will be used to help generate and identify new sustainable bioenergy crops," Rose said. "We are currently developing a more comprehensive catalog and functional inventory of plant cell wall proteins."Rose received his Ph.D. in plant biology from the University of California-Davis in 1997 and joined the Cornell faculty in 2000. He succeeds Stephen Kresovich, who served as interim director of the institute before he left for the University of South Carolina in October 2009. The position has been vacant since then.

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