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Rutgers professor recognized for revolutionizing agriculture
Date:1/28/2013

d or physics as well as the arts. He will receive the Wolf Prize in May from Israel President Shimon Peres at the Knesset, Israel's Parliament in Jerusalem. The Wolf Foundation was established in 1975 by the late German-born inventor, diplomat and philanthropist Ricardo Wolf, who served as the Cuban ambassador to Israel from 1961 to 1973.

"I am honored but this news was really a surprise," said Messing who received a phone call from Israel's Minister of Education on New Year's Day to tell him he had been selected. "I think it's important that this recognition is coming here to Rutgers because I am very proud of the work that is being done at our university."

For Messing, who came to Rutgers in 1985 to oversee research at the Waksman Institute, finding innovative methods that will allow for the development of superior crops with higher yields and nutritional quality either through traditional breeding or genetic engineering has been a priority.

"Since I was born, the world's population has doubled," said Messing, 66, whose published research became the most frequently cited among all of science in the 1980s, according to The Scientist, a national magazine covering life sciences and innovations. "This means we need more food on less land with less water."

The genetic engineering technique he gave away for free instead of patenting has been critical for the early biotechnology industry in agriculture but also in the development of new pharmaceuticals and the diagnostics of diseases.

Rutgers President Robert L. Barchi, a neuroscientist and neurologist, said he used many of the techniques pioneered by Messing in research he has conducted on the structure and function of voltage-gated ion channels in nerve and muscle, and on the role these critical molecules can play in human disease

"This work could not have been done without Joachim Messing's seminal contribution," Barchi said. "We at Rutgers are proud to count him as a colleague and faculty
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Contact: Robin Lally
rlally@ur.rutgers.edu
732-932-7084 x652
Rutgers University
Source:Eurekalert

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