Announcement from Robert M. Goodman, Executive Dean of the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences
It is with great pleasure that I announce the appointment of the new chair of the Department of Plant Biology and Pathology, Don Kobayashi, who has been a faculty member of the department since 1990. Don has agreed to accept a 3-year appointment as chair, effective July 1.
Most recently, Don has served the school and department as the plant biology undergraduate program director. He has also been the undergraduate program director for biotechnology and for the agriculture and food systems majors. In addition, he has served on the executive committee of the Department of Plant Biology and Pathology for the past four years.
Don teaches courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and has been involved in instruction and academic advising, especially within the biotech program, for more than 25 years. He’s won the Cook College Excellence in Teaching award (1996) and the Cook College Student Leadership Award for Outstanding Contributions to Teaching and Advising (2004).
His research interests include plant-associated microbiology, especially in the area of bacterial/fungal interactions, and phytopathogenic bacteria. Don’s recent research has focused on microbial biocontrol of fungal plant pathogens and the etiology and disease processes in oak leaf scorch, caused by Xylella fastidiosa.
Don is a molecular plant pathologist with a bachelor’s degree. in microbiology from the University of Washington and a doctoral degree (with Noel Keen) in plant pathology from the University of California–Riverside (1988). Prior to coming to Rutgers in 1990, Don was an associate research scientist at the California labs of DNA Plant Technology, Inc., and a postdoc in molecular biology at the University of Wyoming.
As we welcome Don to his new role, please join me in thanking Mark Robson, who has ably served as chair of the department for the past two years. Mark will return full time to his very successful, highly important, and well-funded research and service learning programs in Thailand and the Philippines.