News

Penn State community grieves loss of biomathematician Howard Weiss

Howard Weiss, professor of biology and mathematics at Penn State, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Nov. 5 at the age of 64.

Bull steps down at Microbiome Center, looks forward to future innovation

After more than five years at the helm of Penn State’s Microbiome Center, founding director Carolee Bull has stepped down. Though she will continue serving as department head of plant pathology and environmental microbiology and as a professor of plant pathology and systematic bacteriology at Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, Bull has handed off leadership of the Microbiome Center to recent Penn State hire Seth Bordentstein.

Heard on Campus: Sarah Bordenstein, The Wolbachia Project

Sarah Bordenstein, associate research professor in the Eberly College of Science, and director of Discover the Microbes Within! The Wolbachia Project, spoke at the Millennium Café on Sept. 13.

Microbiome Center announces inaugural Interdisciplinary Innovation Fellows

The Penn State Microbiome Center has named six recipients for its inaugural Interdisciplinary Innovation Fellowships (IIF) program, which aims to promote collaborative training opportunities for center members.

Predictive model uses gut microbes to forecast human diseases, health outcomes

A new approach that uses artificial intelligence (AI) shows how to use microorganisms in the body and molecules in cells to predict human health outcomes, according to Penn State College of Medicine and University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center researchers. They say it could improve the accuracy of predicting the development of human diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease and diabetes.

Above-ground microbial communities that quell plant diseases can be developed

Microbial communities naturally living on the leaves and stems of tomato plants can be manipulated to suppress diseases that reduce productivity, according to Penn State researchers, offering hope that growers someday can apply these mixtures of bacteria and fungi to protect plants and improve harvests.

Seth Bordenstein named director of the Penn State Microbiome Center

Seth Bordenstein, director of the Vanderbilt Microbiome Innovation Center at Vanderbilt University, will take the reins of the Penn State Microbiome Center in the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences in the fall of 2022.

Microbiologists get grant to study biofilms guarding foodborne pathogen Listeria

Microbiologists in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences have received a $605,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to study how microbial biofilms protect Listeria monocytogenes, the bacterium that causes the deadly foodborne illness listeriosis.

New plant science team gets grants from USDA-NIFA for research on soil microbes

An assistant professor in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences has received $950,000 in two competitive grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to lead a team studying interactions between plants and rhizobial soil bacteria, with the long-term goal of boosting forage and crop production while reducing environmental impacts of fertilizer use.

Alliance between College of Ag Sciences, University of Pretoria yields benefits

​Developing solutions to address threats to plant health is the centerpiece of a partnership between Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences and the University of Pretoria in South Africa. The partnership is designed to increase both organizations’ research, teaching and extension impact and growth opportunities, thereby increasing food security and environmental stewardship.