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K-State's Subbaratnam Muthukrishnan and Barbara Valent Named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
Date:10/25/2007

ghtweight materials for use in aircraft and armor. Muthukrishnan is a recipient of the 2006 Commerce Bank Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award. He also received a William L. Stamey Award for Excellence in Teaching from K-State's College of Arts and Sciences.

Valent has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for her contributions in the understanding of plant-microbe interactions, particularly in defining the mechanisms of fungal pathogenesis. She pioneered and developed rice blast disease as an easily manipulated model system to understand how plants and fungi interact to lead to disease or resistance. She was first to clone and study both fungus and rice genes that determine the outcome of this interaction. Valent is applying functional genomics and advanced cell biology techniques to analyze the earliest disease events in which the fungus is able to take over and control living rice cells. Her research centers on improving key cereal crops, such as rice and wheat, for durable resistance to fungal diseases.

Valent had a productive research career with the DuPont Company culminating in the position of research fellow and technical leader for their Genetic Disease Resistance Program. She joined K-State as a professor of plant pathology in 2001 and was named university distinguished professor in 2002. She previously served on the board of trustees for the International Center for Tropical Agriculture in Cali, Colombia. Valent was recently named a Fellow of the American Phytopathological Society. She holds three patents, including one with other scientists for a glue purified from the rice blast fungus.


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