NCSU forestry professor wins international prize

An N.C. State University forestry professor has won an international prize for his work in the molecular genetics of forest trees.

Ron Sederoff was awarded the 2017 Marcus Wallenberg Prize on Friday. He will receive the award in Stockholm on Oct. 26 from the King of Sweden. It includes a cash prize of 2 million Swedish kronor, or about $226,000.

Sederoff, one of the first scientists to study molecular basis of forest trees, has been at NCSU since 1987, where he founded and is now co-director of a forest biotechnology research group at the university. His work on forest tree biology has been used to accelerate tree breeding.

The selection committee honored Sederoff for “breakthroughs in developing methods for gene discovery in conifer species and exploiting new breeding technologies for improved properties.”

For three decades, NCSU’s forest biotechnology group has studied the genetics of trees, leading to a better understanding of growth, disease resistance and other traits. The group’s researchers have worked on identifying the genome of the pine and American chestnut trees.

Sederoff is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and is the inventor on a number of patents. At NCSU, he is the Edwin F. Conger Professor of Forestry and Environmental Resources.

Jane Stancill: 919-829-4559, @janestancill