Los Andes alumni scientist to be presented with an award from the American Phytopathological Society

Lina Quesada Ocampo, microbiologist and biologist
Lina Quesada Ocampo to be presented with an award from the American Phytopathological Society
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Thanks to her exceptional and innovative contribution to the control of plant diseases, Uniandes alumni Lina Quesada Ocampo will receive the William Boright Hewitt and Maybelle Ellen Ball Hewitt Award in August, which is presented by the American Phytopathological Society (APS).

The program that researcher Quesada Ocampo is currently working on at North Carolina State University in the United States has earned the respect of the scientific community due to her ongoing evaluation of the latest management strategies to reduce the presence of disease in horticultural crops and the timely publication of results for use by colleagues and growers.

The lecturer has published more than thirty articles, given more than fifty lectures, and published more than thirty reports on plant disease management. She has supervised seven postgraduate students, three postdoctoral students, eleven undergraduates, and has participated in nine graduate student committees.

According to the American Phytopathological Society, Lina Quesada typifies a new standard in plant pathology that can perfectly integrate the basic sciences of genomics and molecular plant pathology in a research and extension program that includes the needs of agricultural stakeholders.

The American Phytopathological Society is propelled by a distinctive community of scientists and is recognized as a high-level and innovative organization in plant pathologies research. The APS has globally contributed to the advance of this crucial science for more than a century.

A life devoted to plants

The scientist from Bogotá has always had a special interest in subjects related to agriculture. Her degrees in microbiology and biology from the Universidad de los Andes were centered around these topics, and for her undergraduate thesis Lina studied the limitations of vascular bacteriosis in yucca in the International Center for Tropical Agriculture. She also undertook an internship in Ohio State University.

She was affiliated for almost two years with Los Andes where she studied populations of Phytophthora infestans: a plant parasite that produces a disease known as potato blight.

Her PhD focused on plant pathology at Michigan State University where she carried out research on the Phytophthora capsici pathogen, which causes destructive diseases in certain crops from regions throughout the world with mild climates. In 2010 Quesada undertook postdoctoral studies in the same university when she researched Poaceae and Brassicaceae (types of herbaceous plants) using functional genomics and bioinformatics.

Several months later, she was awarded a NIFA Postdoctoral Fellowship at Michigan State University where she analyzed Fusarium graminearum: a fungus that causes Fusarium wilt – one of the most important diseases affecting grains.

The expert in microbiology and vegetable biology joined the Department of Plant Pathology at North Carolina State University in 2012 as assistant professor. She is currently developing an outstanding research program in this institution that is based on studying diseases in vegetable crops. Her goal is to propose new and improved strategies to manage diseases in plants.

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