William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor
Associate Dean for Research, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, North Carolina State University
Director of the North Carolina Agricultural Research Service
Steven A. Lommel is a William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor of Plant Pathology. He is Director of the North Carolina Agricultural Research Service and Associate Dean for Research in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, North Carolina State University. He is leading the build out of the Plant Sciences Initiative at NC State University. He conducts research on plant virus pathogenesis, evolution and taxonomy. His research on virion structure and assembly at the molecular and atomic level is leading towards using small RNA plant viruses as nano-cargo vessels for the targeted delivery of therapeutics to cancer cells and for seed treatments in agricultural applications.
As a result of this research, he co-founded and is a Scientific Advisor for the company, Nanovector. Dr. Lommel has an active research program funded by the NSF, USDA and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop RCNMV as a nanoscale packaging and delivery vehicle. He was the co-investigator on a project that sequenced the Nicotiana Genome. His teaching responsibilities include graduate courses in Plant Pathology and Plant Virology as well as invited lectures in Biotechnology and Genetics. He is the editor for the Journal “Virology” and is on the editorial board for four other scientific journals. He has published more than 100 peer reviewed journal articles, book chapters, reviews and proceedings. He is a Fellow of the American Phytopathological Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
He obtained his bachelor’s degree in Biology at the University of San Francisco in 1978, and his doctoral degree at the University of California, Berkeley in 1983. He was an Assistant Professor at Kansas State University. He joined the faculty at NCSU in 1988 and has risen through the ranks. He held a number of research administration positions at both the College and University level since 1992. He serves as special scientific advisor to the US EPA on the release of transgenic crops. He administrates North Carolina State University’s presence at the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis. He is on the Board of Directors for the David H. Murdock Research Institute and was the President of the Institute. He also serves on numerous University, State, Federal and International Scientific Boards, Committees and funding panels.