James Alfano

James Alfano, who was a professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln specializing in plant pathology, died yesterday.

According to his biography on the American Phytopathological Society website, he graduated with the Ph.D. in microbiology from Washington State University in 1993 and worked at Cornell University in a postdoctoral position from 1993 to 1997. He was an assistant professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas from 1997 to 2000 before coming to UNL as a professor in the Plant Science Initiative and the Department of Plant Pathology. 

Alfano was also a researcher in plant pathogens. His research specifically focused on how plant pathogens create diseases in plants, and his research team studied the specific gram-negative bacterial pathogen and how that interacts with plants. 

In addition to the research on plant diseases, Alfano also was in charge of the Alfano Lab within the Department of Plant Pathology at UNL.

UNL Chancellor Ronnie Green tweeted Friday morning about the death to share his condolences.

“My heart is heavy today in the passing from this life of my friend and colleague [James Alfano].  Too young, too soon,” Green said in a tweet.

This is a developing story. Karissa Schmidt contributed to the reporting of this story. This article was modified at 1:12 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 22 to correct the spelling of Alfano's name in the headline.