Jim Giovannoni appointed Director of USDA-ARS Robert W. Holley Center

by | Apr 19, 2018

Headshot of Jim GiovannoniJames (Jim) GiovannoniBoyce Thompson Institute (BTI) professor, has been appointed as the Director of the USDA-Agriculture Research Service’s Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture and Health (RHCAH) in Ithaca, New York, effective April 15, 2018. 

For the last two years, Dr. Giovannoni served as the Acting Director of the RHCAH. Dr. Giovannoni is a world-renowned scientist, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and was included in the 2015 Thompson Reuters’s list of “the World Most Influential Scientific Minds.”

Dr. Giovannoni’s landmark discoveries and contributions have led to important improvements in public and private breeding programs for a variety of crops. He and his team have an extensive publication record including papers in Science, Nature, Nature Genetics, Nature Biotechnology and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The RHCAH, located across from BTI in Ithaca, NY, conducts a broad range of agricultural research and seeks to dissect and understand both complex plant traits and microbial processes important for agricultural and environmental stewardship. The Center’s research helps to facilitate crop improvement and environmental protection through both traditional and molecular breeding, as well as plant biotechnology and improved agricultural and environmental practices.

“As Director of the RHCAH, I look forward to continued and expanded interaction of a community that comprises arguably the most diverse and effective plant science community in the US and much of the world,” said Giovannoni. “With my lab located in BTI, I am especially excited at exploring opportunities for synergy between these two highly innovative institutions.”

“The BTI research community it delighted to learn of Jim’s appointment as the Director of the Holley Center,” said Paul Debbie, BTI Director of Research. “His leadership of the Center over the past several years, along with his seminal contribution to our knowledge of Solanaceous crops, makes Jim the perfect choice to lead this organization into the future. BTI also sees this as an exciting opportunity to further strengthen the affiliation between our two institutions.”

Dr. Giovannoni was honored as USDA-ARS North Atlantic Area Senior Research Scientist of the Year in 2010 and 2017, elected as a Fellow to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2013, received the US Secretary of Agriculture Honor Award for Exceptional Service as leader of the US tomato genome and fruit biology team in 2014, and was awarded the USDA-ARS T.W. Edminster Research Associate Award in 2015.

“We are delighted that Jim has been appointed as Director. This appointment recognizes his collegiality and leadership qualities, along with some truly extraordinary and highly collaborative scientific achievements,” said David Stern, BTI President.

This article is an adaptation of a statement by Dariusz M. Swietlik, USDA-ARS Director, Northeast Area.

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