Archived news

Research Jean Ristaino wins NC State Global Engagement Award

Photo by Ken Martin

Congratulations ot Dr Jean Ristaino for winning the 2019 NC State Global Engangement Award. Dr. Jean Ristaino and Dr. David Marshall were nominated by CALS for the 2019 NC State Global Engagement Award. The award ceremony was held April 23 and Dr. Ristaino, along with Gary Blank and Keith Gubbins were given the 2019 Awards. Dr. Robert Patterson was awarded the Jackson Rigney International Service Award.

Ristaino Wins Fulbright Award. Jean Ristaino’s passion for ensuring food security for a fast-growing world population has taken her around the globe, helping other scientists and students gain skills in identifying and tracking new and re-emerging plant diseases that can decimate crops. Her most recent stop: Italy. Thanks to a prestigious Fulbright U.S. Research Scholar Award, the William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor of Plant Pathology at NC State will have a chance to both teach and learn as she works with colleagues and students at the University of Catania in Italy.

NC State Global Food Security Institute:  A meeting to develop a strategic plan to organize a NC Global Food Security Institute (GFSI) that links major triangle universities, NGO’s and companies in RTP was held April 13, 2017.  The GFSI Meeting Summary can be found here.

Emerging Plant Disease Symposium, March 23-24, 2016. NC State hosted an international symposium in Raleigh, NC to kick off the cluster.  The speakers synthesized new developments on emerging plant disease biology and discussed an expanding array of new technologies to gather, analyze, synthesize, and share knowledge about emerging infectious diseases of plants that affect global food security. Four sessions with invited keynote speakers and a closing panel and a dynamic poster huddle session in the Hunt Library’s  Visualization Lab was given by speakers. For more information and to download the program click Emerging Plant Disease Symposium NCSU

Dave Marshall and team fighting Stem Rust in Pakistan and awarded Abraham Lincoln Honor Award.  Congratulations to Dr David Marshall.  The USDA Pakistan Team, made up of ARS and FAS personnel has won the USDA Abraham Lincoln Honor Award in global food security.  This was “For delivering technical assistance, food assistance, and training to Pakistan resulting in improved seed varieties, agricultural practices, and animal and plant disease control”. To quote the attached “This is the most prestigious Departmental award presented by the Secretary and recognizes exceptional leadership, contributions, or public service by individuals or groups who support the mission/goals of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).”

Dave is inthe field in Pakistan with Dr. M.Yaqub Mujahid, National Coordinator , Pakistan Wheat Research, National Agricultural Research Center, Islamabad (left), Dr. M. Imtiaz, CIMMYT–Pakistan, Country Representative for WPEP (Center).  WPEP is the USAID-sponsored program that contracted USDA-ARS and USDA-FAS to collaborate, advise, and implement the development of new wheat varieties having resistance to Ug99 stem rust in high-yielding, adapted genetic backgrounds. The major collaborators are CIMMYT and PARC (Pakistan Agricultural Research Council).  The website for WPEP is

NCSU Signs an MOU with Bioscience East Africa ILRI Hub.


On August 8th, Director General Appolinaire Djikeng met with Provost Warwick Arden, CALS Dean Richard Linton, and other campus faculty and officials, to sign a Memorandum of Understanding for the research partnership between NC state and BecA-ILRI Hub in Nairobi Kenya.  NC State has research in progress on sweetpotato, potatoes and cassava at the BecA-ILRI hub.

Dr. Linda HanDSC07621ley Bowdoin awarded 5 million dollar NSF Partnership International Research and Education grant for her work on the biology of cassava virus diseases in East Africa. Linda is shown here with colleague Dr. Joseph Ndunguru from Tanzania formulating ideas at a Bellagio Conference, April 2014.


Partnerships with Makerere University.DSC00279  Dr Jean Ristaino, the Director of the Emerging Plant Disease and Global Food Security Cluster, recently visited Uganda with an NCSU team that signed an MOU with Makererre University. The NC State team included Dr Derek Aday, Dr James Kiwanuku-Tondo, Dr. Jean Ristaino, David Dixon, Dr. Juliana Nfah-Abbenyi, Dr. Sheila McKoy, Dr. Jeff Braden and Dr. Paula Cray.  Dean Rich Linton accompanied the team in Uganda and visited  NaCCRI and NARRL outside Kampala and learned about research projects conducted by CALS faculty including Dr. Craig Yencho’s Gates funded sweet potato breeding program and Dr. Ristaino’s research on potato late blight

Bellagio Conference Held in  Italy.  A Bellagio Conference  was held on Emerging Plant Diseases in East Africa, April 2014. Dr. Jean Ristaino was principal investigator and Dr. Linda Hanley-Bowdoin was co-principal investigator for the recent collaborative conference “Emerging DSC00279Infectious Plant Diseases of Africa in the Context of Ecosystem Services.” The international conference held April 8 to 12 at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Conference Center in Bellagio, Italy. Attending were 19 participants who worked to develop a strategy to mitigate impacts of emerging plant diseases in Africa.

Research Leadership Academy Panel on Interdisciplinary Reseach. The Research Leadership Academy hosts a lunch and learn on February 27 on the “Challenges of Interdisciplinary research”. Watch the video.

North Carolina State University brings new expertise to annual BecA-ILRI Hub workshop. The BecA-ILRI Hub annual workshop on Introduction to Molecular Biology and Bioinformatics (IMBB) kicked off on Monday 9 May 2016 at the ILRI campus in Nairobi. The intensive 11-day workshop attracted 27 participants from national agricultural research systems (NARS) in 11 African countries including Burundi, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Nigeria, South Sudan and Sudan. Click here to read more.

Indian Phytophthora Workshop, Bangalore October 2015.
Symposium – Phytophthora: Taxonomy,Genomics, Pathogenicity, Resistance & Disease Management Abstracts