Larissa J. Osterbaan, Ph.D.

Dr. Larissa Osterbaan
  • Assistant Professor of Biology
(315) 792-3028
  • 122-G White Hall
  • School of Arts & Sciences
Position type


I got my B.S. in Biotechnology from Calvin College (now Calvin University), a small liberal arts school in western Michigan. In my freshman year of college, I participated in an introductory biology course that included extensive hands-on research into bacteriophages (viruses that infect bacteria). This sparked an enduring interest in research generally and viruses specifically, as well as an appreciation for the power of early exposure to research for increasing student interest and understanding of science. Between my junior and senior years of college, I did a summer research internship in plant virology at Cornell University’s New York State Agricultural Experiment Station (now Cornell AgriTech) in Geneva, NY. I returned the following year to start graduate work and earned my Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from Cornell University in 2019.

Opportunities for Student Research and Collaboration

My primary experience is in molecular interactions between plant viruses and their hosts, but my research interests include molecular biology (in plants or other systems), virology (again, in plants or elsewhere), and protein biology. The great thing about being a plant pathologist is that I’ve gotten to dabble in many disciplines: plant biology, epidemiology, mycology, microbiology, and more. I encourage motivated students seeking to do research in these areas to reach out to me (


B.S. in Biotechnology – 2013 – Calvin University

Ph.D. in Plant Pathology – 2019 – Cornell University

Past Research

Osterbaan, L.J., Fuchs, M. 2019. Dynamic interactions between plant viruses and their hosts for symptom development. J Plant Pathol 101, 885–895.

Osterbaan, L. J., Choi, J., Kenney, J., Flasco, M., Vigne, E., Schmitt-Keichinger, C., Rebelo, A. R., Heck, M., and Fuchs, M. 2019. The identity of a single residue of the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase of grapevine fanleaf virus modulates vein clearing in Nicotiana benthamiana. Mol. Plant-Microbe Interact. 32:790–801.

Osterbaan, L. J., Schmitt-Keichinger, C., Vigne, E., and Fuchs, M. 2018. Optimal systemic grapevine fanleaf virus infection in Nicotiana benthamiana following agroinoculation. J. Virol. Methods. 257:16–21.

Courses Taught

BIO 105 Fundamentals of Biology

BIO 232 Research Methods II

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