University of California, Riverside

Microbiology and Plant Pathology



Department News

January 2018- Welcome to our newest faculty member Dr. Patrick Degnan

degnanDr. Degnan joins the department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His office is located in Webber Hall 2317A. To learn more about Dr. Degnan and his research please visit his faculty page here.

 August 2017- Dr. Alexander Putman is Co-PI on a $4.5 million collaborative grant from NIFA at the USDA.

putmanDr. Putman will be collaborating with a team of researchers from California and Florida to advance research on disease-resistant strawberries.

See the UCR Today Article here.

August 2017- Dr. Ansel Hsiao receives $1.8 million in funding from NIH

hsiaoThe NIH R35 grant is titled "Gutmicrobiome-mediated small-molecule signaling and resistance to invading microorganisms" 



July 2017- Department Name Change 

The department has been renamed to the Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology.

June 2017- Dr. Georgios Vidalakis receives a $500,000 grant from US Department of Commerce

georgios vidalakisDr. Georgios Vidalakis has received a $500,00 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce, to purchase new equipment to be used to support research conducted by the Citrus Clonal Protection Program (CCPP). 

See the press release for the grant here.

May 2017-  Nichole Ginnan wins Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award

nicholeNichole Ginnan a graduate student in the department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology received the award for her excellence in teaching. She was honored at the Graduate Division Excellence in Teaching Banquet. 

March 2017- Dr. Emma Aronson's paper published in Nature Communications

aronsonDr. Emma Aronson's paper titled "Dust outpaces bedrock in nutrient supply to montane forest ecosystems"  is garnering international attention.

The paper can be found on the Nature website here
UCR Today Article can be found here
The publication is also being featured on EurekAlert and Popular Science.

March 2017- Dr. Rong Hai's paper on the Zika Virus published in Nature Communications, and featured in several news outlets

rong haiDr. Rong Hai and Dr. Jikui Song in the department of Biochemistry, recently published a paper titled " The structure of Zika virus NS5 reveals a conserved domain conformation". Their research is being featured by ABC 7, The Press-Enterprise, and UCR Today.

Read the paper on the Nature website here
ABC7 coverage can be found here
The Press-Enterprise article here
The UCR Today article here

February 2017- Dr. Katherine Borkovich elected to fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology

borkovichThe AAM is an honorific leadership group within the American Society for Microbiology.



roperteamJanuary 2017- Team led by Dr. Caroline Roper receives $5.112M grant from the USDA

Dr. Caroline Roper (PI), Dr. Georgios Vidalakis, Dr. James Borneman, Dr. Phillipe Rolshausen, Dr. David Jassby, and Dr. Haizhou Liu's research will focus on the design and identification of new bactericides to combat the Huanglongbing disease that is destroying the citurs industry.

See the Press Release from the USDA here or the UCR Today Article.

 December 2016- Dr. Shou-wei Ding's Nature publication featured in the Press-Enterprise

dingDr. Shou-wei Ding's paper recently published in the Nature journal Cell Research. The paper is titled " Viral effector protein manipulates host hormone signaling to attract insect vectors.

Read the paper here or the ariticle on the Press-Enterprise

December 2016-Dr. Akif Eskalen featured in The Press Enterprise

eskalenDr. Akif Eskalen's research on the Ployphagous shot hole borer and a possible future inocullation for Southern California trees is featured on this article by the Press-Enterprise. 

Read the article Here

November 2016- Dr. Howard Judelson Elected fellow to American Association for the Advancement of Science

judelsonTo be elected a fellow of the AAAS, you must be a member for a least 4 years and whose efforts on behalf of the advancement of science or its applications are scientifically or socially distinguished.

Read the UCR TODAY post here or the AAAS website

September 2016-Welcome to our new faculty member Dr. Emma Gachomo

emma gachomoDr. Emma Gachomo joins the department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology from Rutgers University. Her office will be temporarily located in Webber Hall 2317A and she may be reached at

 July 2016-Jim Adaskaveg wins the APS Pacific Division Lifetime Achievement Award 

adaskaveg Life time Achievement Award from the American Phytopathological Society- Pacific Division 



 Archived News 

Message from the Chair

"Welcome to the Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology at the University of California, Riverside! Our departmental goals are to conduct research on the basic biology of plant pathogens and microbes, to develop methods for the management of microbial diseases of plants and other organisms, to provide a quality education to our students; and be a repository of expert advice on plant diseases and microbiology to the citizens of California and the world.

Our department has its roots in the Citrus Experiment Station, which was established in Riverside in 1905. Although the department has maintained strength in the study of diseases of citrus, the scope has expanded to include concentrations in numerous other plant diseases as well as many sub-disciplines of microbiology. Represented among our faculty are experts in the fields of genetics, genomics, bioinformatics, molecular biology, cell biology, biochemistry, ecology, evolutionary biology, and traditional aspects of disease control. Many faculty members have close interactions with industry representatives, advisors, and policy makers throughout California and worldwide. This is critical to applied research for identifying emerging and common plant diseases and microbes, and developing innovative management programs based on ecological and epidemiological approaches. 

On the following pages, I invite you to explore the research programs of our world-class faculty, our critical work in cooperative extension, and the graduate and undergraduate programs that we sponsor."- Katherine Borkovich


More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Contact Information

Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology
Boyce Hall 1463

Tel: (951) 827-3598
Fax: (951) 827-4294