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.