About the Author
Donald P. Weeks, Ph.D., is one of the leading experts in the rapidly emerging field of gene editing in plants and algae. Weeks is the Maxcy Professor of Agriculture and Natural Resources in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Purdue University and his Ph.D. degree from the University of Illinois-Champaign/Urbana. He has held professional positions at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, the Zoecon Research Institute of Sandoz Agro, Inc. in Palo Alto before joining UNL in 1989. Weeks is a Plant Molecular Biologist and Biochemist. His earliest scientific contributions included discovery of mechanisms involved in protein synthesis in eukaryotic cells and development of systems for studies of gene regulation in plants and algae. He was a pioneer in the adoption of molecular biology and recombinant DNA technologies in biological research. The Weeks laboratory at UNL was responsible for the development of dicamba herbicide resistance gene technology that has been commercialized by major seed companies for use in soybean and cotton crops. Most recently, the laboratory has been involved in pioneering research aimed at developing and applying new methods for gene editing (targeted gene knockout and gene replacement) for use in improving important food crops. Weeks has provided leadership for several national and international science and industrial organizations. At UNL has served as Director of the Center for Biotechnology, founding Director of the Nebraska EPSCoR Program, Head of the Department of Biochemistry and Director of the Nebraska Coalition for Algal Biology and Biotechnology. He is a Member of the National Academy of Inventors, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and winner of the University of Nebraska Innovation, Development and Engagement Award (IDEA) in 2009 and the Outstanding Research and Creative Activity (ORCA) Award in 2014. Bing Yang works at the Genetics, Development and Cell Biology department, Iowa State University.