Pearson has been named interim deputy director of AgriLife Research

Leland “Sandy” Pearson, Ph.D., Professor Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiologywill serve as interim deputy director and chief research officer Texas A&M AgriLife Research.

Leland “Sandy” Pearson, Ph.D., is the new interim associate director of Texas A&M AgriLife Research. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Sam Craft)

Pearson has served as head of the Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology for the past 13 years. His interim role at AgriLife Research begins immediately as management conducts a national search for a permanent replacement.

The position of deputy director was previously held by Henry Fadomir, Ph.D., who in October moved to the position of vice president of research at Texas A&M University Research Division.

“Dr. Fadomira has championed comprehensive research initiatives whose far-reaching implications will continue to strengthen Texas agriculture into the future,” said Cliff Lamb, Ph.D., director of AgriLife Research. “We appreciate the outstanding work that Dr. Fadamiro has contributed to our agency and look forward to his continued impact in the research department.

“Special thanks to Dr. Pearson for stepping in at this transitional time,” Lamb said. “He is an outstanding researcher, teacher and administrator who has proven his ability to acquire resources and empower faculty and staff to achieve their goals.”

Pearson received his bachelor’s degree in microbiology from the University of California, Davis, and his doctorate in microbiology from Washington State University. He served as a research associate at the USDA Agricultural Research Service in the field of plant pathology, then spent 19 years on the faculty at the University of Arizona, where he served as chair of the Institutional Biosecurity Committee as well as department chair. Pearson has been named interim deputy director of AgriLife Research

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