Virginia Tech®home

Translational Plant Sciences


Since its beginnings as an incubator program in Fralin Hall, the translational plant sciences program at Virginia Tech has grown exponentially, acquiring multiple faculty members and students who occupy the majority of labs and offices in the recently constructed Latham Hall. Virginia Tech plant scientists use molecular biology skills, processes, and technologies to impact real world issues, including improvements in agricultural productivity, human health, and sustainable energy.  With twenty faculty members from seven departments and three colleges devoted to work in this area, the program is truly multidisciplinary, with specialty in plant genomics, disease resistance, metabolic engineering, bio-production, bioprocessing, and forest biotechnology.

In 2005, the translational plant sciences graduate program was initiated, allowing students to sample research avenues before choosing a concentration in the second or third semesters. Already, current and former students have published in top-tier journals and presented at many national and international conferences.  The Fralin Life Science Institute has contributed to the success of the program by providing funding for faculty research, undergraduate and graduate student stipends, and equipment. For more information on the Translational Plant Sciences program, visit:

Translational Plant Sciences Researchers:

Eric Beers
(540) 231-3210

Amy Brunner
(540) 231-3165

Dr. Takeshi Fukao

Crop & Soil Environmental Sciences

(540) 231-9527

Glenda Gillaspy
(540) 231-1850

Elizabeth Grabau
Plant Pathology, Physiology and Weed Science
(540) 231-6361

Ruth Grene
Plant Pathology, Physiology and Weed Science
(540) 231-6761

Jason Holliday

Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation

(540) 231-7267

John Jelesko
Plant Pathology, Physiology and Weed Science
(540) 231-3728

Christopher Lawrence
Biological Sciences
(540) 231-1907

Saghai Maroof
Crop, Soil and Environmental Science
(540) 231-9791

John McDowell
Plant Pathology, Physiology and Weed Science
(540) 231-2388

David Schmale

Plant Pathology, Physiology and Weed Science

(540) 231-6943

Dorothy Tholl

Biological Sciences

(540) 231-4567

Jim Tokuhisa
(540) 231-5653

Richard Veilleux


(540) 231-5584

Boris Vinatzer
Plant Pathology, Physiology & Weed Science
(540) 231-2126

Xiaofeng Wang
Plant Pathology, Physiology & Weed Science
(540) 231-1984

Jim Westwood
Plant Pathology, Physiology & Weed Science
(540) 231-7519

Brenda Winkel
Biological Sciences
(540) 231-3013

Chenming (Mike) Zhang
Biological Systems Engineering
(540) 231-7601

Percival Zhang
Biological Systems Enginnering
(540) 231-7414

Bingyu Zhao
(540) 231-1146