In conjunction with “Sustainability: Challenges and Opportunities,” Cameron University’s triennial academic festival, the School of Science and Technology will present “The Future of Food in a Crowded World with a Changing Climate,” featuring plant biologist Dr. Roger Beachy, on Monday, March 9 at 7 p.m. The presentation will take place in the Goodyear Lecture Hall, Room 100, in the Sciences Complex and is open to the public at no charge.
Beachy serves as founding director of the World Food Center at the University of California, Davis. He is internationally known for his scientific leadership and groundbreaking research related to disease-resistance in crops. In June 2014, he was appointed by President Barack Obama to a six-year term on the National Science Board, the policy-making body of the National Science Foundation. The National Science Board serves as an independent body of advisors to the U.S. Congress and the President on policy matters related to science and engineering and education in science and engineering.
An elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and the 2001 recipient of the prestigious Wolf Prize in Agriculture, Beachy formerly served as the founding executive director and CEO of the Global Institute for Food Security in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.
In 2009, he was appointed by President Obama as the first director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, where he served until 2011. During his tenure at NIFA, he presided over the establishment of the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, the federal government’s only agriculture-focused investigator-initiated grants program.
From 1999 to 2009, Beachy was the founding president and director of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, a not-for-profit, plant science research center near St. Louis, Mo. Prior to that, he headed the plant biology division at The Scripps Research Institute, where he was a professor and the Scripps Family Chair in Cell Biology, as well as co-director of the institute’s International Laboratory for Tropical Agricultural Biotechnology.
From 1979 to 1991, he was a biology faculty member at Washington University in St. Louis, and served as director of the university’s Center for Plant Science and Biotechnology. His work at Washington University led to the development of the world's first genetically modified food crop, a variety of tomato that was modified for resistance to virus disease. His technique to produce virus resistance in tomatoes has been replicated by researchers around the world, and his groundbreaking work has led to the production of many types of virus-resistant plants.
Beachy holds a doctoral degree in plant pathology from Michigan State University. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Microbiology, and the Academy of Science of St. Louis. He also is a Foreign Associate in the National Academy of Sciences India and The Third World Academy of Sciences. Other honors include the Bank of Delaware’s Commonwealth Award for Science and Industry, the American Phytopathological Society’s Ruth Allen Award, the Dennis Robert Hoagland Award from the American Society of Plant Biologists, and R&D Magazine’s Scientist of the Year.
February 27, 2015