Alan Collmer, the Andrew J. and Grace B. Nichols Professor of Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology received the 2016 CALS Outstanding Faculty Award from the CALS Alumni Association on Friday October 14.
Collmer was recognized for his scientific achievements including his careful elucidation of the complex system by which bacteria deliver virulence factors into host plants and interfere with plant defense. This work has been funded by a series of multi-institution National Science Foundation grants for which he has been the lead investigator. These investigations yielded the complete genome sequence of the plant pathogen, Pseudomonas syringae, and together with subsequent analyses, have provided scientists worldwide with the elements required to understand fundamental dynamics of virulence and plant resistance.
He was further acknowledged for his work as the inaugural director of the School of Integrative Plant Science from 2014 to 2016, where he played a pivotal role in crafting a dynamic school encompassing a broad spectrum of plant science related activities within CALS. In his administrative role, as in research and teaching, Collmer is described by his peers as humble, conscientious, and thoughtful.
In his remarks, Collmer expressed his “boundless gratitude for the opportunity for purposeful work” granted him by Cornell and CALS. He also thanked his many colleagues and his life partner of 44 years, Candace Collmer.