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

member."

The results of Messing's work are a tribute to his life's research. Today, his work focuses on providing more sustainable, healthy and productive sources of food for the world's population and extracting biofuels for energy from plants like carbon-cycling duckweed and drought-tolerant sorghum, that grow either on water or marginal land and do not compete with land used in food production.

"After watching the acreage of crops with reduced toxic chemical applications grow over the last 15 years, you can see the positive impact that these techniques have had on the environment and health of people," he said.

Messing joins two former Rutgers faculty members chosen to receive the Wolf Prize and is the second to receive the prize in agriculture. Israel Gelfand, a Soviet mathematician, won the prize for math in 1978 while teaching at Rutgers followed by Karl Maramorosch who was awarded the prize in agriculture in 1980 and was one of the first people Messing reached out to after receiving the news.

"It was so wonderful that I could share this news with him," said Messing who is described by those who have worked with him as having contagious enthusiasm that spreads throughout his laboratory creating positive synergy among the team.

"He has the mentality that whatever you are doing can be done," said Marja Timmermans who worked with Messing as a lab technician and a graduate student from 1987 to 1996 and is now a professor at Cold Springs Harbor Laboratory in New York. "He's happy and enthusiastic and that excitement rubs off and creates a really positive, creative environment."

Besides his recognition as a Wolf Prize winner, Messing has been inducted as a member of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, the oldest continuously existing scientific association in the world. Membership in the academy is among the highest honors accorded for scientific accomplishments.


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Contact: Robin Lally
rlally@ur.rutgers.edu
732-932-7084 x652
Rutgers University
Source:Eurekalert

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