Neal Van Alfen is professor of plant pathology at UC Davis. His research focuses on fungal molecular biology with the goal of controlling plant diseases using low-input, sustainable methods such as biological control using fungal viruses. An elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Phytopathological Society, Van Alfen serves, or has served, on numerous national and international committees and boards, including the Binational Agricultural Research and Development Foundation.
Van Alfen served as dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, UC Davis from 1999 – 2012 during which he led a three-fold increase of extramural research support per faculty member, created a number of research and outreach centers and institutes, including the Agricultural Sustainability Institute, the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, and the Center for Produce Safety. Prior to earning a doctoral degree in plant pathology from UC Davis, Van Alfen earned bachelor’s (chemistry) and master’s (botany) degrees from Brigham Young University.