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Research Focus Areas

The ultimate outcome of our research program provides real solutions to the challenges facing our world. Our most important mission is to enhance the quality of life for people.

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is an integral component of the Virginia Tech research enterprise. We are committed to developing and implementing research programs that address society's needs and expectations. We identified several focus areas that will guide the college's research agenda in the next several years.

Our research work, at the forefront of discoveries, strongly impacts the residents of Virginia, the world's scientific community, and international food security. More than 300 scientists contribute to this diverse and impressive portfolio. The researchers work at the main campus as well as at the Agricultural Research and Extension Centers located across the commonwealth. Our faculty conducts exciting research in the following areas:

Agricultural Profitability and Environmental Sustainability

  • Developing agricultural systems that maintain high productivity in an environmentally sustainable manner.
  • Studying the impacts of global change on the conservation and management of natural resources.

Food, Nutrition, and Health

  • Investigating how knowledge and new technologies can be tied to human health and nutrition, assisting in the prevention of chronic diseases such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.

Biodesign and Bioprocessing

  • Determining how Virginia's producers can add value to endeavors, such as bio-based products, bio-energy, diversification into other crops, and other avenues. 

The Green Industry

  • Developing high-value horticultural products, businesses, and systems.
  • Providing education to assist the commonwealth in adjusting to the economic and environmental impact of urban sprawl.
  • Enhancing rural ecosystems.

Infectious Diseases

  • Developing methods to lessen effects of infectious and vector-borne diseases on plants, animals, and humans.
  • Studying major infectious diseases, such as West Nile virus, malaria, and other vector-borne diseases that plague the world.
  • Developing methods of attenuating the effects of diseases through state-of-the-art technologies.

Community Viability

  • Working with local schools to integrate math, science, technology, and engineering into an agricultural curriculum to better prepare students for college and the workforce.
  • Developing local leaders to meet the challenges of sustainable agriculture and rural development.


Research Focus Areas

Areas that guide the college's research agenda:

  • Agricultural Profitability and Environmental Sustainability
  • Food, Nutrition, and Health
  • Biodesign and Bioprocessing
  • The Green Industry
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Community Viability