"We are proud to have these esteemed scientists as part of our faculty here at
Byrne, professor of soil and crop sciences, was cited for "pioneering work on the genetics of drought tolerance and disease resistance in plants, and exceptional public engagement on the science of genetically engineered organisms."
Byrne's work focuses on the application of quantitative and molecular genetics to crop improvement. He also uses quantitative trait locus analysis and association mapping to locate and characterize the genes that control abiotic stress tolerance and end-use quality in wheat; yield and oil content in Brassica oilseed crops; and, fungal disease resistance in common bean. He also conducts biotechnology risk assessments, for which he has estimated the level of gene flow between wheat and jointed goatgrass under
Byrne has a Ph.D. in agronomy and a master's degree in horticulture, both from the
Crans, professor of chemistry, was cited "for distinguished contributions elucidating the chemistry and biochemistry of vanadium, as well as professional service within the field of inorganic chemistry." Her research focuses on the chemistry of transition metal compounds and she has expanded her work to include lipid and lipid-like environments in bulk and on the nanoscale. She has long been interested in the insulin-enhancing effect of vanadium and other transition metal compounds, and applications of metals in diabetes and cancer. This has led to projects in the application of colloidal systems for drug formulation and processing of biofuels as it involves lipid biomass conversions.
Crans has a Ph.D. in chemistry from
Lapitan, professor of crop sciences, was cited for "distinguished contributions to the field of plant genomics, particularly in the study of genome organization and the genomics of important traits in crop species." Lapitan focuses on DNA "intelligence," examining how DNA structure fits its function and how DNA evolves to respond to the needs of the organism. Her research areas include the molecular interaction between insects and cereal hosts, DNA marker development for economically important traits in wheat and barley and implementation in plant breeding, and the application of functional genomics and proteomics to understand plant-insect interaction and identify genes for complex traits in wheat and barley.
Lapitan has both a Ph.D. and a master's degree in genetics from
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