The CALS Research Enterprise

Research at CALS

CALS faculty are respected around the globe for their efforts to understand and solve some of the biggest issues facing our society in the areas of agriculture, food, health, energy and the environment—from defeating cancer and diabetes to supplying our growing world with nutritious and ample food, from developing new sources of energy to conserving our precious natural resources.

In recent years, CALS researchers:

  • discovered a key gene linked to obesity and diabetes
  • developed a simpler and safer way to grow stem cells in the lab
  • helped develop a method to study the genes of “unculturable” microbes
  • led an effort to sequence the genomes of all 99 known strains of cold virus
  • created medical foods for people with phenylketonuria (PKU) using a special protein found in cheese whey
  • pioneered a sustainable way to grow potatoes that serves as a model for other crops
  • solidified the college’s role as a leader in the creation of affordable biofuels by winning a bid to house one of three U.S. Department of Energy-funded Bioenergy Research Centers

As they do their work, CALS faculty train undergraduates, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and staff scientists. They often partner with businesses, research foundations, government agencies and other academic institutions on research projects. Some of the university’s most successful spin-off companies have come out of CALS labs, including Deltanoid, NimbleGen and Quintessence Biosciences.