Bill Fry is professor of plant pathology and has been a member of the Cornell faculty since 1971. His research has centered on
Phytophthora infestans, the pathogen that caused the Irish potato famine, investigating its population genetics, molecular genetics, ecology, epidemiology, and control. In that regard, his lab documented global migrations and global population displacements of this pathogen during the 1980s and 1990s. Locally, Dr. Fry’s discoveries have been used to aid efforts in agriculture to suppress the disease caused by this pathogen. The most recent emphasis has been to build a program that integrates all the disease control tools into a single package, with the goal of achieving the most effective disease suppression possible while minimizing costly inputs.