Host: Professor Rod Wing
Most genetic research is performed in model organisms with a hypothesis-based strategy that enriches our understanding of well-characterized processes. My lab mostly pursues a different strategy that investigates barely-studied organisms in an attempt to discover currently unknown processes. Because of our over-riding interests in chromosomal structure, function and evolution, we often start with genome sequence analysis. This seminar will describe in brief detail several recently completed or ongoing projects that exemplify this strategy and its successes in uncovering previously unknown phenomena.
Jeff Bennetzen received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Washington for studies of yeast molecular genetics, did postdoctoral work for one year, worked in industry for two years, and then joined the Department of Biological Sciences at Purdue University as an Assistant Professor in 1983. He rose to the positions of Professor in 1991 and Umbarger Professor in 1999. Since 2003, he has been the Giles Professor in the Department of Genetics at the University of Georgia. In 2016, he founded a second laboratory in the State Key Laboratory of Tea Plant Biology and Utilization at Anhui Agricultural University. Dr. Bennetzen was elected a member of the US National Academy of Sciences in 2004 and as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2005. He was the founder or co-founder of the International Grass Genome Initiative, the Maize Genetics Executive Committee and the McClintock Prize. His laboratory is best known for its work investigating the very dynamic processes that determine the structure, function and evolution of plant genomes, and he has published more than 250 articles on this subject.