Renowned Plant Scientist to Explore Relationship Between Plants, Health for 2017 York Lecture

Kelsey Fry Research, Top Posts, Uncategorized

By: Beverly James, 352-273-3566,

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Can crops be fortified to improve diets and lower the rate of chronic diseases? Cathie Martin, a world-renowned expert on plant metabolic engineering, will discuss that question at the 2017 E.T. York Lecture.

The free event will be held at 2 p.m., Thursday, April 13 in the University of Florida Emerson Alumni Hall. The UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is hosting the lecture.

Martin is a group leader at the John Innes Centre in the United Kingdom, the leading plant research institute in Europe. Also, Martin is a professor at the University of East Anglia where she researches the relationship between diet and health, and how crops can be fortified to improve diets and address the problem of escalating chronic illnesses. Her work links leading clinical and epidemiological researchers with plant breeders and metabolic engineers.

In addition, Martin is involved in genetic screens to identify crops that lack toxins that cause nutritional diseases. She has recently initiated a collaborative project with China to research Chinese medicinal plants. Martin is an associate editor of Plant Physiology in the area of plant specialized metabolism. Also, she is co-author of the undergraduate-level text book Plant Biology, published by Garland Science (2009).

“We are honored to host such a distinguished scientist as Dr. Martin,” said Jack Payne, UF senior vice president of agriculture and natural resources. “Her work is vital because of the impact of chronic illnesses that are oftentimes linked to diet. Dr. Martin’s research can have an impact on citizens around the globe.”

The York Distinguished Lecturer Series was established in 1984 by an endowment from Dr. and Mrs. E. T. York, Jr. Each year, at least one recognized leader is nominated by faculty and invited to campus.

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