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Smart choice to lead School of Integrative Plant Science

Plant pathologist appointed to five-year term

periodiCALS, Vol. 7, Issue 2, 2017

Christine Smart. Photo by Chris Kitchen.

Christine Smart, a professor of plant pathology who specializes in developing management strategies for vegetable diseases, was appointed director of SIPS in August.

Smart had been serving as interim director since July 1, 2016, when Alan Collmer, the Andrew J. and Grace B. Nichols Professor in the Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology (PPPMB) Section of SIPS, finished his two-year appointment as the inaugural director. 

SIPS was launched in 2014 to integrate five departments—PPPMB; Horticulture; Plant Biology; Plant Breeding and Genetics; and Soil and Crop Sciences—into a single administrative unit. The school unifies distinct disciplines to tackle urgent challenges relevant to plant scientists, with the mission of creating useful plant improvements that boost human health and advance environmental sustainability.

“It is an honor to have this position, and I continue to be inspired by the outstanding science and global impact of SIPS,” Smart said. “At no point has the need for research on plants and soils been greater. The combined expertise of our outstanding faculty and our commitment to science-based solutions positions us to address some of the most serious and fundamental challenges facing humanity.”