Center for Plant Science Innovation to host Aug. 26 reception

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UNL's Center for Plant Science Innovation is hosting a reception Aug. 26 to thank Sally Mackenzie for her leadership and service as director and to welcome Ed Cahoon as the newly appointed director.

The reception is 4:30 p.m. in the Beadle Center Atrium.

Mackenzie, the Ralph and Alice Raikes Professor of Agronomy and Horticulture, came to UNL from Purdue University in 1999 and was appointed founding director of the Plant Science Initiative. PSI was charged with establishing a long-term vision for enhancing plant science research strength at UNL in support of Nebraska's agricultural industry.

Since its inception in 1999, Mackenzie (pictured) has recruited 14 faculty members and six affiliate faculty to PSI. Under her direction, PSI has been active in grantsmanship, curriculum development, graduate student recruitment, research infrastructure enhancement, campuswide vision building and enhancement of the plant science research community at UNL.

In 2006, Mackenzie began laying the foundation to establish PSI as a UNL center. The Board of Regents approved the Center for Plant Science Innovation in January 2008.

After more than 10 years of service, Mackenzie has stepped down as director to focus more of her time on research and recruitment. Cahoon, professor of biochemistry, has been named the new director of the center. He came to UNL in 2008 from the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center.