Lou Hirsch

Professional Profile

Assistant Professor, Special Title Series

Director of Undergraduate Studies of ABT



  • PPA 400G: Principles of Plant Pathology
  • PPA 500: Physiology of Plant Health and Disease
  • PPA 670: Plant Bacteriology
  • ABT 495: Experimental Techniques in Biotechnology
  • ABT 120: Genetics and Society
  • GEN 300: GE Crops -- Scourge or Salvation?



Outside of instruction, Lou’s focus is providing effective science outreach to the community and K-12 school districts throughout Kentucky. Lou is specifically interested in helping science teachers introduce plant pathology research into their classes, and tailor their curricula to the Next Generation Science Standards.  Lou has hosted workshops and symposia with local K-12 science teachers and researchers at regional universities to help structure successful collaborations between educators.  His outreach work is aimed toward improving the quality and dynamism of science education in the Commonwealth, and improving the broader impacts of research conducted at the University of Kentucky. 

Additional Information


  • Ph.D. in Plant Science, 2014, University of Arkansas
  • M.S. in Plant Pathology, 2010, University of Arkansas
  • B.A. in English and Religious Studies, Tulane University

Employment Highlights

  • Lecturer, University of Kentucky, 2016 to present
  • Postdoctoral Scholar, University of Kentucky, 2015-2016
  • Research Associate III, Medical University of South Carolina, 2014-2015
  • Visiting Scientist, Coker College, 2013-2014
  • Adjunct Lecturer, Coker College, 2013-2014


Peer-Reviewed Research Publications

  • Badour, C. L., Hirsch, R. L., Zhang, J., Mandel, H., Hamner, M., & Wang, Z. (2015). Exploring the association between a cholecystokinin promoter polymorphism (rs1799923) and posttraumatic stress disorder in combat veterans. Journal of   Anxiety Disorders. 36, 78-83.
  • Ridenour, J. B., Smith, J. E., Hirsch, R. L., Horevaj, P., Kim, H., Sharma, S., & Bluhm, B.H. (2014). UBL1 of Fusarium verticillioides links the N-end rule pathways to extracellular sensing and plant pathogenesis. Environmental Microbiology. 16, 2004-2022.
  • Li, S., Ridenour, J. B., Kim, H., Hirsch, R. L., Rupe, J., & Bluhm, B. H. (2013).Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation of the soybean pathogen Phomopsis longicolla. Journal of Microbiological Methods. 92, 244-245.
  • Hirsch, R. L., TeBeest, D. O., Bluhm, B. H., & West, C. P.  (2010). First Report of Rust caused by Puccinia emaculata on switchgrass in Arkansas. Plant Disease     94, 381.

Book Chapter

  • Ridenour, J., Hirsch, R. L., & Bluhm, B. H. (2012). Functional genomics in Fusarium verticillioides.  In M. Bolton, & B. Thomma (Eds.), Methods in Molecular Biology: Plant Fungal Pathogens. Totowa, NJ, USA: Humana Press.

Published Abstracts

  • Hirsch, R. L.,Ramegowda, Y. B., & Bluhm, B. H. (2013). Sensing stomata: The circadian regulation of pathogenicity in Cercospora zeae-maydis. Phytopathology, 103(6), 60.
  • Hirsch R. L., & Bluhm, B. H. (2011). The identification and characterization of genes involved in foliar infection of maize by Cercospora zeae-maydis. Phytopathology, 101, S72.
  • Hirsch R. L., & Bluhm, B. H. (2010). Characterization of genes in Fusarium verticillioides regulating colonization of maize kernels. Phytopathology, 100, S148.