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DAA: Sue A. Tolin

Sue A. Tolin

, | Distinguished Ag Alumni: 1993

Dr. Tolin is a professor of plant pathology at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (VPI). She conducts research with viruses and virus diseases of annual field crops, forage legumes, and perennial fruit crops in addition to her teaching responsibilities. Recent efforts have concentrated on using the newest biotechnology methods to identify the viruses and virus strains causing serious plant diseases and finding ways to control them through genetic and management means. Dr. Tolin has played a key role in the development of government standards and regulations on all biological research involving recombinant DNA For this she was recognized in 1992 with a Certificate of Appreciation Award from the United States Department of Agriculture for “Extraordinary Service to U.S. Sciences” Dr. Tolin joined the faculty of VPI in 1966. Her research has been the basis for a significant volume of scholarly publications on plant virology and biotechnology. Much of her work over the past fifteen years has centered on the issues, policies, and regulations relating to the safety risks of genetically-modified plants to the food supply and the environment. She works closely with USDA ~n the broad area of biotechnology regulation. From 1980 to 1987 she was member and Vice-Chair of the USDA Recombinant DNA Research Committee. She played a key role in formulating policy and writing position papers that later became Federal Register documents on this subject. She has been one of the major spokespersons nationally and internationally for sane regulations of biotechnology and the need for an international consensus on biotechnology regulation. Dr. Tolin is a recognized expert on agrofood biotechnology and is often called upon to testify before Congress as well as to speak to professional societies, universities, and private industries. As president-elect of the American Phytopathological Society, she will assume the responsibilities of president in 1994.