JOB SUMMARY:  Provide support to Sakata plant breeders by developing and applying pathogen screening tests in the lab, growth room, greenhouse and field.  Provide direction and leadership in breeder support pathology activities in the assigned crops for SAI and its subsidiaries/cooperatives.  Assist Supply Chain, Product Development and Sales in cultivar evaluation for disease reaction, information development and exchange.  Provide disease diagnoses and recommend control strategies.  Provide phytosanitary guidance and documentation support.  Provide seed health testing support and general pathology support for the company and manage Mount Vernon plant pathology.


  • Develop and implement disease resistance screening tests for the breeders, Product Development and Sales employing lab, growth room, greenhouse and field environments. Work closely with plant breeders to provide direction and leadership in disease resistance development and documentation.
  • Coordinate breeder support activities with SAI pathologists. Develop/foster communication and the sharing of information with other Sakata plant pathologists and breeders in other locations.
  • Supervise and/or train SAI-Mount Vernon pathology assistant(s), technologist(s), technician(s), and trainees, as delegated.
  • Review company literature for accuracy in the assigned crops, specifically focusing on the breeding programs at the SAI –Salinas and SAI-Mount Vernon locations.
  • Develop, improve, operate, and manage the Mount Vernon plant pathology lab, pathology greenhouses and pathology growth chambers. Cooperate with other staff in the reasonable use and sharing of these facilities.
  • Assist in development and application of seed-borne pathogen phytosanitary programs as needed in cooperation with other staff on station.
  • Assist Production in disease control programs and strategies for both seed-borne and field-borne pathogens.
  • Interact with staff of all company departments where assistance is requested and provide plant pathology expertise for the company as a whole.
  • Develop and maintain professional relationships with other pathologists and plant scientists outside of the company and keep current on pathology related matters.
  • Attends professional meetings, as assigned, to participate in industry supporting initiatives, monitor advancements in relevant sciences, and further develop technical skills and expertise.
  • Travel locally, nationally, and internationally as necessary to further Sakata’s pathology programs.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Laboratory, greenhouse and field skills in plant pathology, with emphasis on applied disease resistance screening and evaluation protocols, and proven pathogen detection and disease diagnosis techniques.
  • Ability to work independently and cooperatively and provide effective leadership and management of personnel.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, problem solving skills, organized, and detail oriented.
  • Ability to quickly adapt and be receptive to changing work demands, techniques, and/or approaches.
  • Ability to do routine and repetitious work in a greenhouse, growth room, field or at a laboratory bench for several hours.
  • Ability to travel domestically and internationally.


  • PhD. or M.S. in plant pathology.


  • More than 2 years of experience in applied plant pathology, emphasizing disease resistance evaluation for cultivar improvement and/or disease detection and diagnosis.
  • More than 2 years of experience managing a pathology laboratory and supervising or managing laboratory staff.
  • Must have excellent oral and written communication skills and the ability to work independently, yet cooperatively, in a team effort.


  • Must be able to work with laboratory chemicals, pesticides and other possible irritating substances.
  • Must be able to work in dusty conditions.
  • Must be able to wear personal protective equipment when necessary and/or required.
  • Must be able to work long and irregular hours.
  • Must be able to stand or sit for long periods of time (up to 70%).
  • Must have a WA driver’s license and be able to drive for long periods of time.

*To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty (as described above) satisfactorily.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform these essential functions.   

To apply, send resume to