2017

Biography

Dr. Mike Grusak is a USDA, Agricultural Research Service scientist and the Center Director of the Red River Valley Agricultural Research Center in Fargo, North Dakota.  He leads a program consisting of fiveresearch units whose scientists encompass expertise ranging from crop plants, to insects, to food safety.  The Center’s broad mission is to solve problems that will help farmers produce a safe, nutritious, and sustainable food supply.  Prior to his appointment as Center Director in early 2017, Dr. Grusak served as a Research Plant Physiologist at the USDA-ARS Children’s Nutrition Research Center (CNRC) in Houston, TX and a Professor of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine.He joined the CNRC in 1990 to develop an interdisciplinary program that would link plant science and production agriculture with human nutrition concerns. His mainresearch involved understanding how mineral nutrients are acquired from soil and transported throughout the plant, in order to use this informationto enhance the nutritional quality of plant foods for human consumption.  He has worked with legumes, cereals, root crops, fruit, and vegetables.  His group also has studied various health-beneficial classes of phytochemicals such as carotenoids and flavonoids and hehas used in vitro cell culture methods and clinical investigations to study nutrient bioavailability and metabolism in humans. These research emphases continue at his new post in Fargo.

Dr. Grusak’s research has been funded by USDA, NSF, NIH, the US Agency for International Development, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  Dr. Grusak has organized and/or served on the Scientific Advisory Committees of several International Symposia. He currently serves on the Editorial Boards of the journals: Plant and Soil, Crop Science, Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, Rice Journal, and The Plant Genome. He is the 2016 President of the Crop Science Society of America, a member of the Board of Directors of the Texas Academy of Science, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  He alsohas served as the Scientific Officer for the Office of Scientific Quality Review, which conducts peer review of all USDA-ARS research projects, and recently was an Acting National Program Leader for Specialty Crops in the USDA-ARS Office of National Programs.  His educational background includes a BS in Biology from Bates College (Lewiston, ME), an MS and PhD in Botany from the University of California-Davis, and post-doctoral training in New Zealand, France, and Ithaca, NY.

Program Information

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Michael A. Grusak

A USDA, Agricultural Research Service scientist and the Center Director of the Red River Valley Agricultural Research Center in Fargo, North Dakota.