People. Corn disease research can be fun

Donna Stephens





Peter Balint-Kurti is a Research Geneticist with USDA-ARS, Plant Science Research Unit, at NC State University.   He has a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology/Genetics from the John Innes Centre in Norwich, UK and has worked on slime moulds and pigs as well as on plants (his first love).   Before joining the ARS in June 2003, he worked in commercial biotechnology– engineering bananas for disease resistance.


The Inoculators!

The Inoculators!(check out the buckets)

Kristen Kump

Kristen started Fall 2007 as a masters , now Ph.D student funded on the Oscar Smith  Pioneer fellowship .   She comes to us from Chicago via Wisconsin.   She really likes plant disease, which means we get a half share of her. The other half works with Jim Holland. She’s working on fine –mapping of disease QTL both using GWAS in the NAM population and linkage analysis


Jose Santa-Cruz

Jose comes to us from Lima, Peru.  Originally a potato guy, he worked at CIP before completing a Masters at Penn State on recurrent selection in spuds for early blight resistance .  He is working on fine-mapping and characterization of disease resistance QTL and is funded on a Monsanto fellowship.





USDA-ARS Maize Disease Resistance Genetics at NC State


Pat Fredrichs

Pat has been rating corn for us in Andrews, NC, for the past 5 years.  You’d never know that this is his first job in plant genetics.  Pat is the senior member of our group by several decades.

Abbey Sutton

Jill is working for her Ph.D. in maize breeding with us and Matt Krakowsky.  With us she is analyzing B73 NIL lines from Sherry Flint-Garcia that contain introgressions from Teosinte.

Jill did her Masters work with Joe Burton and is a graduate of Purdue.


Jill Recker

Abbey has been works with us as a research specialist, helping manage our field program.  She is qualified both as a plant pathologist and as a vet, so she should be able to cure most of the things she comes across.


Peter Balint-Kurti


Dept. of Plant Pathology,

NC State University

Raleigh NC 27695-7616

Phone: 919-515-3516

Lab: 919 515 7376



To contact us:

Guanfeng Wang is working on molecular biological aspects of our NSF-funded project looking at  the genetic architecture controlling the hypersensitive response in maize. He was previously a post-doc at University of Maryland, Baltimore County.  He got his Ph.D at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing in both cases working on the molecular genetics of plant disease resistance.  He also has an MS in Crop Genetic and Breeding from Nanjing Agricultural University.


Luis Orlando López Zúñiga comes to us from Columbia as a Fulbright fellow.   He was most resently an Agronomy Engineer/Plant Breeder at Cenicaña -Colombian Sugarcane Research Center and has a degree from the National University of Colombia.  He is starting a PhD program looking at the genetics of multiple disease resistance in corn.


Bode Olukolu is working on  statistical genetics aspects of our NSF-funded project looking at  the genetic architecture controlling the hypersensitive response in maize. He got his PhD from Clemson University working on various aspects of genetic mapping and genomics of  tree and vine species.  He comes originally from Nigeria, where he got his MS and undergraduate degrees.