The new School of Integrative Plant Science at Cornell University should boost food safety research at the Ithaca, N.Y., college.
Plant and soil scientists from five departments will now be integrated, bringing together efforts in plant biology, breeding, pathology and microbe biology, according to a news release. Alan Collmer, a professor of plant pathology, has been appointed as the school’s first director.
With help from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Cornell plans to invest $35 million in the new plant school. Kathryn Boor, dean of the Cornell College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, said in the release the new alignment will help researchers address big issues more efficiently.
“Whether it’s creating a more secure, nutritious and sustainable food system; devising new plant-based medicines, materials and sources of bioenergy; or ensuring the biodiversity and health of the ecosystem that supports all life on Earth; basic and applied plant and soil sciences provide the very foundation upon which our society will build enduring solutions to a wide range of challenges facing the world today,” Boor said in the release.