Jan E. Leach
University Distinguished Professor
Associate Dean for Research, College of Agriculture
Jan Leach is a plant pathologist whose research focus is to understand the molecular mechanisms of plant disease susceptibility and resistance. Leach also studies how climate changes impact plant disease caused by microbial pathogens, primarily studying rice and interactions with bacterial pathogens, and how the Russian wheat aphid microbiome influences the insects’ aggressiveness to plants. Leach is a University Distinguished Professor at Colorado State University, and she also serves as Associate Dean for Research in the College of Agriculture.
Leach is a Fellow and a past President of the American Phytopathological Society (APS). She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, and a Non-Resident Fellow in the Plant Biology Division of the Noble Foundation. Leach is a past President of the International Society for Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, and is currently President of the International Society of Plant Pathology. She serves as a member of the Oversight Committee for RICE, a global rice research partnership. During her 16 years of service to the APS Public Policy Board, she co-led advocacy for the Phytobiomes Initiative, a systems-level approach to improving crop productivity.