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US (OH): Wang appointed to Professorship in Plant Protection

Guo-Liang Wang has been appointed to a five-year term as the holder of the Endowed Professorship in Plant Protection at The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

This appointment signifies Wang's exceptional contributions to the field of plant pathology and his continued dedication to advancing agricultural sciences. He brings to this role a wealth of experience and expertise, having served as a highly productive professor in the Department of Plant Pathology at Ohio State since 2008 and an associate chair since 2023.

"Dr. Wang's dedication to advancing knowledge in plant pathology, coupled with his outstanding record of scholarship, leadership, and service, make him an ideal candidate for this prestigious position," said Cathann A. Kress, Ohio State vice president for agricultural administration and dean of CFAES. "His appointment reflects the college's commitment to excellence in research and education in the important area of plant health."

Wang's research has important implications for food security and sustainability. His work has led to a greater understanding of the molecular genetics of plant disease defense, particularly in rice and resistance to rice blast and bacterial blight diseases. Wang and his research group had a major role in the cloning and analysis of resistance genes to the rice blast pathogen, Magnaporthe oryzae. His contributions have advanced our understanding of key molecular processes important for the development of disease-resistant crops.

Furthermore, Wang's scholarly impact is evidenced by his extensive publication record, with 126 publications from 2012-2023 and a career total of 250. His research has garnered significant attention, with a total of 27,151 citations on Google Scholar, placing him in the top 2% of highly cited scientists in the world.

Over the course of his career, Wang has garnered numerous awards and honors, including The Ohio State University Distinguished Scholar Award, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Fellow of the American Phytopathological Society. Wang is also deeply committed to education and has mentored numerous students and postdoctoral scholars in his program.

In addition to his academic achievements, Wang has been highly successful in securing external funding, with grants totaling approximately $50.6 million since 1999, including over $9.0 million directly to the Wang Laboratory. This funding has supported cutting-edge research in plant disease resistance and novel strategies for disease control, addressing critical challenges facing global agriculture. Funding sources have included the CFAES and Nationwide AgTech Innovation Hub, U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Energy, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, U. S. Agency for International Development, Food and Agriculture Organization/International Atomic Energy Agency, and industry grants.

Endowed professorships are distinguished positions within academia, reserved for scholars of exceptional merit and achievement, and are funded by stakeholders or donors. The Professorship in Plant Protection — established in 1980 by the Ohio State Board of Trustees through gifts from alumni, industry, and friends of CFAES — reflects the university's commitment to fostering excellence in research and education in the critical area of plant health.


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