An Interview with Dr. Jan Leach – Be Persistent!

Interview conducted and written by Modesta Abugu.

Jan E. Leach is Associate Dean for Research in the College of Agricultural Sciences and University Distinguished Professor at Colorado State University.

She a plant pathologist internationally recognized for her work on plant-parasite interactions and mechanisms of plant disease resistance, particularly in rice.

In 2020, Jan received the Award of Distinction from the American Phytopathological Society (APS) and was awarded the Agropolis Fondation Louis Malassis International Scientific Prize for Agriculture and Food. She was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 2021.

Despite being an international authority on plant diseases and an award-winning plant pathologist, Jan has faced, and still faces occasionally, some gender-biased challenges in her career. The most frustrating one is to have her ideas or suggestions being ignored during meetings. This is a very common experience for women in science and Jan had to learned over how to be self-confident and to stand her ground.

Be Persistent. Choose your battles. Put your energy towards the important things.

Dr. Jan E. Leach

Follow Jan Leach on Google Scholar or Twitter @JanPhytoBiomes