Joachim Messing honored for his contributions to Biotechnology

The American Society of Microbiology has selected Dr. Joachim Messing of Rutgers University and the Waksman Institute of Microbiology as recipient of the 2014 Promega Biotechnology Research Award for his significant contributions to the start of the genomics revolution.

Conceptualizing and developing whole-genome shotgun DNA sequencing method, suitable for contiguous chromosomal sequences, and the M13mp/pUC/JM cloning kits made him the most frequently cited scientist in the world during the 1980s. Messing made his innovations freely available, contributing to rapid advances throughout the life sciences. He applied these microbial tools to help create the field of plant genomics with a focus on raising the nutritional quality of food. Maynard Olson, University of Washington, describes Messing as "an under-recognized hero of the period during which recombinant-DNA applications spread explosively."

For his participation in sequencing the rice genome, he and his colleagues received the World Technology Award in Biotechnology and the USDA Secretary's Honor Award. Messing, a Fellow of the American Association of the Advancement in Science (AAAS), is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, the oldest continuously existing science academy in the world. In 2013, he won the prestigious Wolf Prize in Agriculture. Currently, he is the Research Director of the Waksman Institute of Microbiology and the first Selman Waksman Chair in Molecular Genetics.