Nav: Home

BTI researcher elected to National Academy of Sciences

May 04, 2016

ITHACA, NY-- Jim Giovannoni, Boyce Thompson Institute professor, USDA scientist and Cornell University adjunct professor of plant biology, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

Giovannoni, who is known for his research on tomato fruit ripening and his participation in the International Tomato Sequencing Project, is one of 84 new members announced by the National Academy of Sciences on May 3. The organization recognizes his distinguished and continuing achievements in original research in plant science.

"Congratulations to Jim for this great honor, which reflects the recognition of the community--at the national and international level--for his distinguished career and the many significant contributions that the Giovannoni lab has made over the years," said BTI VP for Research Eric Richards.

At BTI, researchers in the Giovannoni Lab use the tomato and its wild relatives to study fruit ripening and its effect on nutritional quality and flavor. They investigate how ripening is regulated in the tomato and how this process has evolved. His lab also works to develop genomic tools for studying tomatoes and related plant species. He collaborated on the sequencing of the tomato genome, published in 2012, and the wild tomato genome in 2014.

"Such honors are certainly humbling and, in reality, reflect the summed efforts of not only the one honored but the excellent students, postdocs, colleagues, institutions and family members that one is fortunate to have relationships with," said Giovannoni. "I cannot imagine a more supportive and exciting space to do research than the unique intersection of the BTI, Cornell and USDA-ARS communities found in Ithaca."

Giovannoni earned his doctorate in molecular and physiological plant biology at the University of California, Berkeley in 1990, followed by two years as a postdoctoral researcher at Cornell University. He then joined the faculty at Texas A&M University in College Station in the department of horticultural sciences. Giovannoni returned to Ithaca to join BTI and the USDA - ARS in 2000. His successful scientific program and widely cited research publications earned him the honor of being included by Thomson Reuters in its list of 2015's "Most Influential Scientific Minds," earlier this year.

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit institution that was established under a congressional charter signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. Currently, it has 2,291 active members and 465 foreign associates. The National Academy of Sciences recognizes achievement in science by election to membership and provides science, technology and health policy advice to the federal government and other organizations.
Media Relations Contacts: Patricia Waldron (607-254-7476, or Kitty Gifford (607-592-3062,

Communications Office
Boyce Thompson Institute
533 Tower Road
Ithaca, New York 14853 USA

To learn more about Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI) research, visit the BTI website at

Connect online with BTI at and

About Boyce Thompson Institute

Boyce Thompson Institute is a premier life sciences research institution located in Ithaca, New York on the Cornell University campus. BTI scientists conduct investigations into fundamental plant and life sciences research with the goals of increasing food security, improving environmental sustainability in agriculture and making basic discoveries that will enhance human health.

BTI employs 150 staff, with scientists from 40 countries around the world and has twice been named as one of the Best Companies in New York State. Its 15 principal investigators are leading minds in plant development, chemical ecology, microbiology and plant pathology, and have access to the institute's state-of-the-art greenhouse facilities with computerized controls and a system of integrated pest management. BTI has one of the largest concentrations of plant bioinformaticists in the U.S., with researchers who work across the entire spectrum of "omics" fields. BTI researchers consistently receive funding from NSF, NIH, USDA and DOE and publish in top tier journals. Throughout its work, BTI is committed to inspiring and educating students and to providing advanced training for the next generation of scientists. For more information, visit

Boyce Thompson Institute

Related Tomato Articles:

Untangling the genetic legacy of tomato domestication
Favorable mutations that went along with increased fruit size and other beneficial traits in tomato plants do not always play well together.
Fine-tuning dosage of mutant genes unleashes long-trapped yield potential in tomato plant
A team of plant geneticists at CSHL demonstrates how bringing together beneficial traits in agricultural breeding can have negative consequences.
UF-led team discovers key to restoring great tomato flavor
What's wrong with the supermarket tomato? Consumers say they lack flavor, so a University of Florida researcher led a global team on a mission to identify the important factors that have been lost and put them back into modern tomatoes.
Fertilizer, plastic mulch treatments benefit tomato yield
Researchers studied the effects on tomato yield of transplant fertilizer solutions and plastic mulch in a clay loam soil with moderate or high levels of existing phosphorus fertility and organic matter.
Bad seeds: How the parental lineage may determine viability in tomato hybrids
A group led by Thomas St├Ądler at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Zurich, has performed the first study to investigate the genome-wide changes from interbreeding among closely related species of wild tomatoes.
Scientists find new system in tomato's defense against bacterial speck disease
Researchers at the Boyce Thompson Institute and Virginia Tech have discovered a new receptor used by tomatoes to detect the organism that causes bacterial speck disease.
More tomatoes, faster: Accelerating tomato engineering
While looking for ways to make tomatoes and other crop plants more productive, researchers at the Boyce Thompson Institute developed a way to cut the time required to modify a tomato's genes by six weeks.
Light treatments inhibit intumescence injury of tomato
Effects of end-of-day far-red (EOD-FR) light and high blue photon flux (PF) ratio during the photoperiod on intumescence injury were examined for 'Beaufort' tomato seedlings.
Sustainable alternative to methyl bromide for tomato production
Field studies in two Florida locations evaluated and compared anaerobic soil disinfestations (ASD) and chemical soil fumigation (CSF) performance on weed and nematodes control, and on fruit yield and quality of fresh-market tomato.
Tomatoes resist a parasitic vine by detecting its peptide
Tomato plants deter attacks from a parasitic plant that's known to ravage crops by detecting one of its peptides, a new study reveals.

Related Tomato Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Jumpstarting Creativity
Our greatest breakthroughs and triumphs have one thing in common: creativity. But how do you ignite it? And how do you rekindle it? This hour, TED speakers explore ideas on jumpstarting creativity. Guests include economist Tim Harford, producer Helen Marriage, artificial intelligence researcher Steve Engels, and behavioral scientist Marily Oppezzo.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#524 The Human Network
What does a network of humans look like and how does it work? How does information spread? How do decisions and opinions spread? What gets distorted as it moves through the network and why? This week we dig into the ins and outs of human networks with Matthew Jackson, Professor of Economics at Stanford University and author of the book "The Human Network: How Your Social Position Determines Your Power, Beliefs, and Behaviours".