|26th DRI Nevada Medal to Honor Renowned Geneticist Dr. Nina Fedoroff|
Reno ceremony scheduled for Tuesday, April 30, 6 p.m. at the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 27, 2012
RENO/LAS VEGAS – The Desert Research Institute will proudly present Dr. Nina Fedoroff, a leading geneticist and molecular biologist who is a pioneering researcher in the field of plant genetics, with the 2013 DRI Nevada Medal during a special event scheduled for early next spring in Reno and Las Vegas.
Dr. Fedoroff’s research on the molecular biology of plants and their responses to environmental stress has helped develop modern techniques used to study and modify plants and earned her the National Medal of Science, awarded by President George W. Bush in 2006. She has now undertaken to pioneer solutions to some of the world’s most difficult agricultural challenges.
“This is a wonderful honor,” said Dr. Fedoroff. “Though, I admit, I’m a bit embarrassed because it’s the science that really matters. I’m looking forward to sharing my research and the science of molecular biology in plants during my time in Nevada.”
The 26th Annual DRI Nevada Medal Event in Reno will include a formal dinner and awards ceremony, scheduled for Tuesday, April 30 at the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino. The Las Vegas event will also include a formal dinner and awards ceremony, scheduled for Thursday, May 2 at the ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. Both evenings will feature a cocktail hour beginning at 6 p.m., with dinner and the awards ceremony beginning at 7 p.m.
Dr. Fedoroff is currently a Distinguished Professor of Biosciences and Director of the Center for Desert Agriculture at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia, where she is establishing an experimental program in crop and aquaculture biology and technology for arid climates. She is also an Evan Pugh Professor at Penn State University and a member of the External Faculty and Science Advisory Board of the Santa Fe Institute, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
In the late 1970’s when DNA sequencing technology was first developed, Dr. Fedoroff sequenced one of the first eukaryotic genes. Turning to molecular studies in plants, she cloned one of the first plant genes ever cloned and the molecular techniques developed in her laboratory were fundamental in creating the now thriving field of plant molecular biology.
“In only a few decades Dr. Fedoroff’s research has helped stimulate a revolution in biology,” said DRI President, Dr. Stephen Wells. “The reality is our world is changing and we need leaders like Dr. Fedoroff to help us address the problems and challenges that lie ahead.”
From 2007 to 2010, Dr. Fedoroff served as the Science and Technology Advisor to the Secretary of State, first under Secretary Condoleezza Rice and more recently under Secretary Hillary Clinton. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Microbiology, the European Academy of Sciences and the International Academy of Food Sciences and Technology.
About the DRI Nevada Medal
The DRI Nevada Medal is a national award given annually, since 1988, by the Desert Research Institute to recognize and stimulate outstanding scientific, engineering, and technical achievements. Nominations are solicited from universities, research organizations, corporations, and individuals nationwide.
The DRI Nevada Medal award includes an eight-ounce minted medallion of .999 pure Nevada silver and $20,000 lecture honorarium.
The award program involves public lectures by the medalist at DRI campuses in Reno and Las Vegas. The award is formally presented by the Governor of Nevada during dinner ceremonies in Reno and Las Vegas attended by Nevada’s business, educational and governmental leaders.
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