2018 NAS Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences Winner:  Dr. Rodolphe Barrangou

Dr. Rodolphe Barrangou, North Carolina State University, is the 2018 recipient of the NAS Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences.

Dr. Barrangou’s groundbreaking research established CRISPR as the adaptive immune system of bacteria, a discovery which promoted the practical use of CRISPR-Cas systems for genome editing. The work has tremendous worldwide applications in food and agriculture, including virus resistance in the widely used yogurt starter culture Streptococcus thermophilus and the potential for translational genome editing in other microbes, crops, and livestock.

Dr. Barrangou will be presented with the prize at the NAS Annual Meeting on Sunday, April 29 at 2:00 p.m. in Washington, D.C.

Learn more about Dr. Barrangou's research.


About the NAS Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences

The prize was established by the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as the first ever NAS Prize dedicated to food and agriculture sciences. Beginning in 2017, the new $100,000 prize recognizes one annual recipient for an extraordinary contribution to agriculture or to the understanding of the biology of a species fundamentally important to agriculture or food production. Joint support from the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation endows the prize in perpetuity.

Establishing the NAS Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences is part of FFAR’s efforts to elevate food and agriculture research in the scientific arena and highlight the critical need for scientists working toward more productive, sustainable agriculture and better health through nutritious food.

2017 Inaugural Winner

Portrait of Dr. McNutt, Dr. Buckler, and Dr. Schaal

NAS President Dr. Marcia McNutt, NAS Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences Recipient Dr. Ed Buckler, and Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis and Chair of the NAS Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences Selection Committee Dr. Barbara Schaal. Photo: National Academy of Sciences

Edward Buckler, Ph.D., accepted the inaugural National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences. Buckler, a U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service researcher and adjunct professor of plant breeding and genetics at Cornell University, studies the connection between a crop plant’s genetic makeup and the physical traits exhibited by different strains. His work includes development of a solution to vitamin A deficiency, a life-threatening issue in the developing world.

Buckler and his colleagues used their findings to breed a new kind of maize with 15 times more vitamin A than conventional varieties. This biofortified maize is now widely available in Zambia, where more than half of children under the age of five are vitamin A deficient.

Learn more about Dr. Buckler's work.

Watch video from the reception honoring Dr. Buckler.