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Cornell and the U.S. Department of Agriculture commemorated the renaming of the U.S. Plant, Soil and Nutrition Laboratory at Cornell University in honor of the late Robert W. Holley, biochemist and Nobel Laureate, on May 12, 2008. Now the Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture and Health, the laboratory is operated by the Agricultural Research Service, the USDA's chief scientific research agency.


  • Leon V. Kochian, Director, Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture and Health
  • Stephen Kresovich, Vice Provost for Life Sciences, Cornell University
  • Antoinette A. Betschart, Associate Administrator, Agricultural Research Service
  • Gale Buchanan, Undersecretary of Research, Education and Economics, USDA
  • Congressman Maurice Hinchey, 22nd District of New York (Keynote Address)

Holley was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1968 for unraveling the genetic code of ribonucleic acid (RNA). His legacy and vision will be further supported by a new $40 million building. When completed, the building will serve as the home to Agricultural Research Service scientists and a center for cutting-edge research studies and interdisciplinary collaborations.

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