Katherine A. Borkovich
Professor & Chair, Dept. of Microbiology & Plant Pathology
Katherine A. Borkovich, Professor and Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology, joined UCR in 2001 following her tenure as an Associate Professor at the University of Texas-Houston Medical School. Prior to that, she performed postdoctoral training at the University of Chicago and the California Institute of Technology and obtained her Ph.D. in Biochemistry at UCLA and her B.S. in Biochemistry at UC Davis.
Dr. Borkovich has worked with microorganisms during her entire 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. Her group pioneered study of heterotrimeric GTP-binding proteins (G proteins) in filamentous fungi, using the model system Neurospora crassa. Dr. Borkovich has contributed to whole-genome information for filamentous fungi, including predictions of gene functions in N. crassa and plant-pathogenic species in the genus Fusarium, and creation of a genome-wide mutant library for N. crassa. Her group’s landmark publications have led to the discovery that G proteins regulate pathogenesis, toxin production and secondary metabolism in numerous animal and plant fungal pathogens. 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 campus Distinguished Teaching Award for her teaching of a research-based course for the Microbiology major, Experimental Microbiology. Dr. Borkovich is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the American Academy of Microbiology.