Department Recognition

One of the nation’s finest! 

In each of three consecutive Academic Analytics assessments of faculty scholarly productivity in doctoral programs nationwide, our Ph.D. program has consistently ranked in the top four in its field, including twice in the Number One spot. The assessments focused on factors such as grants, publications, citations, and awards. Our ranking reflects not only on the quality of the faculty, but also on the many talented and energetic graduate students, postdoctoral scientists, and staff who participate in our research and Extension missions.

National & International Reputation

Faculty in the Department of Plant Pathology have been invited to present their work in Brazil, Canada, China, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Nicaragua, Poland, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Uruguay, and throughout the United States.

Recent Accomplishments

Ms. Huazhen Liu, PhD Graduate Student, received the Myrle E. and Verle D. Nietzel Visiting Distinguished Faculty Program Award. The Nietzel VDF program aims to enrich the dissertation experience for selected doctoral students whose dissertations are judged to be meritorious.  Ms. Liu has been a doctoral candidate under Dr. Pradeep Kachroo. (October 2023)

Dr. Nicole Gauthier, Associate Extension Professor, was honored for her volunteer and leadership roles in an array of American Phytopathological Society (APS) committees within the national and Southern Division organizations.  In addition, she was commended for the significant impact she has made on students and early career professionals. (July 2021)  

Ms. Melissa Molho Medina, PhD Graduate Student, received the Benjamin Nero Student Inclusive Excellence Award. This award recognizes outstanding graduate and professional students at UK’s campus who are working to make our community more inclusive. (May 2020)

Dr. Pradeep Kachroo, Professor, received the 2020 Thomas Poe Cooper Award for Excellence in Research.  This award is presented annually to a member of the CAFE faculty in recognition of outstanding career research achievement. (March 2020) 

Dr. Robert Louis (Lou) Hirsh, Lecturer, was awarded the 2020 UK Great Teacher Award by the UK Alumni Association (December 2019)

Dr. Kiersten Wise, Associate Extension Professor, is a recipient of one of the 2020 Fiscal Year Charles E. Barnhart Fund for Excellence Awards.  Her proposal in the UK High School Crop Scouting Competition receved funding support. (April 2019)

The Association of Plant Pathology Scholars (APPS) won the University of Kentucky Lead Blue Civic Engagement 2019 Award.  This award honors the work and achievement of associations that have greatly contributed to the inclusion and development of their members, as well as to society, through networking and outreach activities.  APPS is the Department of Plant Pathology's graduate student and postdoctoral scholar organization. (April 2019)

Dr. Michael Goodin, Professor,  has been honored by the American Society of Microbiology and selected as the 2018 ASM Honorary Diversity Lecturer.  He was selected by the board of governors of the American Academy of Microbiology. (June 2018)

Dr. Robert Louis (Lou) Hirsch, Lecturer, was featured in a UK AgNews article, video, and slideshow in December 2016.  Thes posts focused on Dr. Hirsch's passion and enthusiasm for teaching science to Kentucky high school students as part of his educational outreach for the Department of Plant Pathology.

Dr. Nicole Ward Gauthier, Assistant Extension Professor has been selected as among the 2016 Top 25 Students, Staff, Faculty, and Alumni within the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment that has contributed to the empowerment of women.  

Dr. Nicole Ward Gauthier, Assistant Extension Professor, was selected as recipient of the 2015 Kentucky Association of State Extension Professionals (KASEP) Outstanding New Extension Faculty Award.

Dr. Pradeep Kachroo, Professor, received the Prestigious Research Paper Award at the 2014 Celebration of Land-Grant Research for a paper published in Nature Genetics. Dr. Aardra Kachroo and a number of other department researchers were co-authors on the award-winning paper.

Dr. Said Ghabrial, Emeritus Professor--A research paper by Hua Li, Wendy Havens, and Dr. Ghabrial was selected by the editors of Virology and featured in their December 2014 Virology Highlights Blog.

Dr. Lisa Vaillancourt, Professor--Maria Torres, a former graduate student,  won the 2014 Best Student Paper Prize for Molecular Plant Pathology from The British Society for Plant Pathology, for her Ph.D. work with Dr. Vaillancourt.

Dr. Aardra Kachroo, Associate Professor, was an invited speaker at the 2014 Kentucky Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference in Louisville, where she will present her research on plant defenses to disease.