Kathryn J. Boor became the dean of Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences on July 1, 2010. As the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Boor oversees the second-largest college at Cornell and shares responsibility for leadership and advancement of Cornell Cooperative Extension throughout New York State with the dean of Cornell's College of Human Ecology. Prior to her appointment as Dean, Dr. Boor served as Professor and Chair of the Department of Food Science at Cornell University (2007-2010).
Dr. Boor earned a B.S. in Food Science from Cornell University and an M.S. in Food Science from the University of Wisconsin. She conducted research for two years in Kenya, East Africa, as a member of a multi-disciplinary team working with small-scale farmers to enhance sustainable and safe goat milk production and preservation systems, then earned her Ph.D. in Microbiology in 1994 at the University of California, Davis.
She established the Food Safety Laboratory as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Food Science at Cornell University in 1994. She became director of the Milk Quality Improvement Program in 1997.Her research focuses on identifying biological factors that affect transmission of bacteria in food systems, from the farm to the table. Dr. Boor has specific research expertise with the foodborne pathogens Listeria monocytogenes, E. coli O157:H7, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, and various streptococci.
She has served as major advisor for 26 graduate students; graduates from her laboratory now hold key food safety positions around the globe in government, academia and the food industry. Her research group has published more than 120 peer-reviewed research articles. Presently, research in Dr. Boor's laboratory is funded by the National Institutes of Health, the United States Department of Agriculture and the New York State Milk Promotion Advisory Board.
Dr. Boor serves on the editorial boards for the Journal of Food Protection, Applied and Environmental Microbiology and Foodborne Pathogens and Disease. She is past president of the New York State Association for Food Protection and she presently serves as scientific advisor for the New York State Cheese Manufacturers’ Association. She served on the National Academy of Science/Institute of Medicine Committee on Review of the Use of Scientific Criteria and Performance Standards for Safe Food (December 2001—May 2003) and completed a term on the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods in 2006. Currently, she serves on the board of directors of the Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research, for which she chairs the Committee on Scientific Review, and on the board of the International Life Sciences Institute-North America.
Dr. Boor received the 2000 USDA Honor Award as a member of the Listeria Outbreak Working Group, the 2000 Foundation Scholar Award and the 2006 DeLaval Award for Dairy Extension programming, both from the American Dairy Science Association, and the 2002 Samuel Cate Prescott award for outstanding research from the Institute of Food Technologists. Dr. Boor is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, the International Academy of Food Science and Technology, the Institute of Food Technologists, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.