Rollin Richmond, Provost, (515) 294-0070
John McCarroll, University Relations, (515) 294-6137
Teddi Barron, News Service, (515) 294-4778


AMES, Iowa -- Stephen Howell has been appointed director of the Plant Sciences Institute at Iowa State University, effective Jan. 1.

Howell is vice president for research at the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research Inc., a private, independent nonprofit corporation affiliated with Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.

"Stephen Howell is a distinguished educator and scientist and a visionary leader," said Rollin Richmond, ISU provost. "We're extremely pleased to have Dr. Howell lead Iowa State's Plant Sciences Institute toward its goal of becoming a world-class center for education, research and technology transfer in the plant sciences."

Howell is an internationally known researcher in the area of genetics of plant pathology and physiology. He joined Cornell and the Boyce Thompson Institute in 1988 as Boyce Schulze Downey scientist and was BTI's director of plant molecular biology from 1988 to 1996. He became vice president for research in 1997. From 1969 to 1988, Howell was on the faculty at the University of California, San Diego.

Howell is the author of the book, "The Molecular Genetics of Plant Development," and editor-in-chief of the research journal, "Plant Molecular Biology."

Howell holds a doctoral degree from Johns Hopkins University (1967) and a bachelor's degree from Grinnell College (1963). He was a Guggenheim Fellow in 1976 and has served as visiting scientist in Japan, Australia and England.

Howell's appointment is for five years. He succeeds Colin Scanes who has served as interim director of the Plant Sciences Institute since it was created more than one year ago.

"We are grateful for all that Dr. Scanes has accomplished for the institute. He has been instrumental in establishing strategic partnerships, attracting and retaining top faculty and communicating the important mission of the institute to audiences in Iowa and around the world," Richmond said.

The Plant Sciences Institute at Iowa State University, which consists of nine research centers, is supported through public and private funding. Its goal is to become one of the world's leading institutes for plant science research, education and unbiased research-based information. Researchers are developing ways to help feed the growing world population, strengthen human health and nutrition, improve crop quality and yield, foster environmental sustainability and expand the uses of plants for biobased products and bioenergy.


Editors: You may download photos of Stephen Howell from the News Service Web site at http://www.public.iastate.edu/~ur/ns/ns.html.

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