Rod A. Wing earned his PhD in Genetics from UC Davis, and completed Postdoctoral Research at Cornell’s NSF Plant Science Center and USDA/UC Berkeley’s Plant Gene Expression Center. His 30-year career in plant science has spanned the US, beginning as an Assistant Professor of Soil & Crop Sciences at Texas A&M, followed by Coker Chair of Genetics & Biochemistry at Clemson University, and Regents Professor and Bud Antle Chair at the University of Arizona’s School of Plant Sciences. Prior to joining KAUST, he led both the Clemson University Genomics Institute and the Arizona Genomics Institute. Wing has been the recipient of numerous international honors and awards.
Wing's pioneering work on the genome biology of rice and other crop plants has empowered the agricultural community across the globe to address both fundamental and applied research in pursuit of the 10 billion people question: How can we sustainably grow enough nutritious food to feed the world by 2050 without destroying our planet? Wing’s approach to this question is to identify, understand, and harness the majority of natural variation that already exists in cultivated rice and its wild ancestors, and to use that information to create the next generation of green super crops. Since rice is the most important food crop on the planet, his team is developing new crop varieties that are higher yielding and more nutritious while having a smaller environmental footprint.