Jan E. Leach is the Associate Dean for Research in the College of Agriculture, University Distinguished Professor at Colorado State University and an Adjunct Scientist at the International Rice Research Institute (Philippines). She is an authority on the molecular biology of plant– pathogen interactions. Her research focuses on understanding the molecular basis of durable disease resistance, particularly in rice-pathogen interactions. Other projects currently underway in her laboratory are related to bioenergy (genetics of biomass production), improving health benefits of crop plants, and the development of novel tools for detection and monitoring of microbes associated with plants. She is a Fellow and past President of the American Phytopathological Society (APS). She is past chair of the APS Public Policy Board and currently co-chairs the Phytobiomes Initiative. Dr. Leach is also a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), served as Chair of the AAAS Section O (Agriculture, Food, and Renewable Resources) in 2007, and is currently a member of the Section O Steering Committee. Dr. Leach is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and serves on the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity. Prior to her appointment at CSU, Dr. Leach was named a University Distinguished Professor at Kansas State University in 1998. She served as President of the International Society of Molecular Plant–Microbe Interactions and has served on or chaired advisory committees for a number of national and international projects, programs and institutions, including the U.S. Rice Genome Sequencing Project, the Research Core for Interdisciplinary Science (RCIS) at Okayama University (Japan), Rural Development Agency (Korea), and a National Research Council (NRC) study. She has served on numerous editorial boards, and was Editor in Chief of the APS journal Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions. Leach earned her B.S. and M.S. in Microbiology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and her Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She was a postdoctoral fellow at East Malling Research Station in Kent, England. Follow her on Twitter @PhytoBiomes @JanPhytoBiomes
Lab Manager, PhD Candidate
Jillian M. Lang
Jillian has a B.S. in Biology from the State University of New York, College at Fredonia. She received her M.S. in Plant Pathology at Colorado State University and was fortunate to remain in the department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management to work on the Comprehensive Phytopathogen Genomics Resource project under the advisement of Drs. Jan Leach, Ned Tisserat and Robin Buell where she focused on developing comparative genomics based diagnostic tools to rapidly and accurately identify select agents Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae from X. oryzae pv. oryzicola. She then became a Senior Scientist at Solix Biosystems developing algae based biofuels and bioproducts. Jillian returned to CSU in the fall of 2010 to manage the research team of Dr. Jan Leach where she maintains equipment, manages accounting, oversees greenhouse production, supervises undergraduate lab assistants, provides support and project management for team researchers, maintains the website, and conducts her own research. Jillian is a PhD candidate in the Cell and Molecular Biology Program at CSU. Her research explores the global regulation of biotic stress by transcription factors in rice using molecular biology, microbiology and transcriptomics. She continues to develop molecular diagnostic tools for plant pathogens. Jillian was named a 2013-2014 Sustainability Fellow and a 2014-2015 Chateaubriand Fellow and spent several months in Montpellier, France working on bacterial genomics with the research team of Drs. Valérie Verdier, Ralf Koebnik and Boris Szurek at l’Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD). Follow her on Twitter @jillianmlang or Google Scholar.
Post Doctoral Fellows
I graduated with a BS in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology from Arizona State University and received my PhD from the Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology program at the University of Florida in 2012. My project involved the mapping and characterization of maize seed mutants with the aim to understand the molecular mechanisms of seed and plant development, particularly at the transcriptional and post-transcriptional level. I have held post-doctoral positions at the University of Florida as well as Colorado State University working in different aspects of post-transcriptional mechanism of gene regulation that are involved in plant development and adaptation to different environmental conditions. Building on my past experiences and looking forward to continue implementing molecular biology to understand plant adaptation, I decided to join the Leach Lab where I am currently working on a NSF funded genome editing project aimed to improve defense responses of diverse rice cultivars to invading pathogens.
I am originally from Bogota, Colombia. Currently, I am a Ph.D. student in Plant Pathology in the Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management Department. I did my bachelor’s degree in biology at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. During my undergraduate studies, I became interested in studying molecular plant-microbe interactions. Therefore, I joined the Molecular Plant Pathology research group for one year, under the advisement of Dr. Camilo López.
Afterwards, I worked as a research assistant at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in the Biotechnology Research Unit, for more than 2 years. As part of the project, I was a visiting scholar at Dr. Dellaporta’s Lab at Yale University on two occasions.
My research project is aimed at finding novel resistance sources for bacterial diseases of rice in Africa and Latin America. It is a collaborative project between CSU, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines and CIAT in Colombia. My main goal is to contribute to the reduction of losses caused by pathogens in crops, which will help decrease poverty and malnutrition in developing countries. On my return to Colombia, I plan to transfer the knowledge acquired abroad, consolidate research on sustainable crop development, and strengthen the collaborative research in different countries.
Jia (John) Long
Undergraduate Lab Assistants
Jenna Herzog, Teddy Borland & Troy Aubol
Elysa (Lysa) DuCharme, Research Associate, Bureau of Land Management
Dr. Herman Scholtof, Visiting Scientist, Dept. Plant Pathology and Microbiology, Texas A & M University
Paula Turrini, Visiting Scholar, GaTE Lab, Departamento de Botânica, Instituto de Biociências Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil
Paul Langlois, MS Student, USDA-APHIS, Fort Collins, CO
Meghan Ferguson, Research Assistant, Fort Collins Cat Rescue, Fort Collins, CO
Emily Delorean, MS Student, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
Dr. Paul Tanger, AAAS Fellow, Washington D.C.
Dr. Tony Campillo, Post-Doc, France
Dr. Lindsay Triplett, Post-Doc, Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, New Haven, CT
Dr. Valérie Verdier, Visiting Scientist and Marie Curie Fellow, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), Montpellier, France
Robin Mom, MS Intern, L’université Blaise Pascal, Clermont-Ferrand, France
Loïc Deblais, Visiting Scholar, Ohio State University, Colombus, OH
Rashad Reed, MS student
Rene Corral, MS student, Regis University, Denver, CO
Dr. Hongxia Liu, Visiting Scientist, Chinese Academy of Agriculutural Sciences, Beijing, China
Andrew Wiersma, MS student, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Dr. Monica Osnaya González, Visiting Scientist, Colegio de Postgraduados, Campus Campeche, Mexico
Dr. Myron Bruce, PhD student, USDA-ARS, Manhattan, KS
Dr. Elizabeth Grabau, Visiting Scientist, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA
Dr. Rebecca Davidson, PhD student, National Jewish Health, Denver, CO
Dr. Amadou Seck, PhD student, CERAAS, Senegal
Dr. Seweon Lee, PhD student, National Academy of Agricultural Science, South Korea
Dr. Hiromichi Ishihara, Post-Doc, Okayama University, Japan