Katherine A. Borkovich, Professor of Microbiology and Plant Pathology at UC Riverside, has been named Divisional Dean of Life Sciences for the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at the University of California, Riverside, effective July 1, 2021. Dr. Borkovich succeeds Frances Sladek, Professor of Cell Biology and Toxicologist.
During Dr. Borkovich’s three-year appointment as Life Sciences Divisional Dean, she will oversee four departments: Biochemistry; Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology; Microbiology and Plant Pathology; and Molecular, Cell and Systems Biology.
Dr. Borkovich joined UCR in 2001 and was Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology from 2012-2021. Before joining UCR, she was an associate professor at the University of Texas-Houston Medical School. Prior to that, she received postdoctoral training at the University of Chicago and the California Institute of Technology, and obtained her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles and her B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of California, Davis.
Working with microorganisms has been a central focus throughout her career. Her current research focuses on how multicellular (filamentous) fungi sense their environment and then fine-tune their gene expression to allow exploitation of different nutritional sources or to infect plant hosts. Dr. Borkovich has received funding for her research from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. She has served as editor or lead author for major books and papers focused on the genomics and cell biology of filamentous fungi.
Dr. Borkovich was instrumental in establishment of the Microbiology undergraduate major and reinstatement of the Microbiology graduate program at UCR. She was recognized with the 2016 UCR Distinguished Teaching Award for her teaching of a research-based course for the Microbiology major, Experimental Microbiology.
Dr. Borkovich received the 2021 UCR Distinguished Service Award for her development and running of the COVID-19 campus testing lab. Dr. Borkovich is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the American Academy of Microbiology.