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Ron Phillips

Excellence in Genetics Research: Is Serendipity Involved?

September 12, 2011

Dr. Ronald L. Phillips is Regents Professor and McKnight Presidential Chair in Genomics, University of Minnesota. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Purdue University and a doctorate from the University of Minnesota with postdoctoral training at Cornell University. Throughout his career, Dr. Phillips has coupled the techniques of plant genetics and molecular biology to enhance our understanding of basic biology of cereal crops and to improve these species by innovative methods.

His research program at the University of Minnesota was one of the early programs in modern plant biotechnology related to agriculture. He is a founding member and former director of both the Plant Molecular Genetics Institute and the Center for Microbial and Plant Genomics, which merged in 2005 to form the Microbial and Plant Genomics Institute of the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Phillips recently served as a non-resident fellow of the Noble Foundation. He was co-winner of the coveted 2007 Wolf Prize in Agriculture, presented to him at an award ceremony in 2007 in Jerusalem.  He currently organizes two popular seminar series: the National Academy of Sciences Lecture Series and the Leading Edge Technology Seminar Series.