Andrew Leakey, a member of the Genomic Ecology of Global Change theme at IGB, was recently selected as a Beckman Fellow, Center for Advanced Study. Leakey’s proposal, “Opening the Black Box of Plant Responses to Global Environmental Change with Genomic Tools”, deals with global environmental change in this century and the impact on growing conditions in farmers' fields and crop yields.
During his Center for Advanced Study (CAS) appointment, Professor Leakey will apply genomic tools to monitor responses of soybean to environmental changes. Specifically, his group will integrate transcript-profiling technology with biochemical and physiological analysis to assess which genes are switched on and off as plants adjust their metabolism, hormone signals, and growth patterns in response to elevated CO2 levels and drought conditions. Research findings from the project will provide a foundation for efforts to develop new soybean varieties that are adapted to future growing conditions.
Each year, University of Illinois faculty are invited to submit scholarly or creative proposals for consideration by the Center’s permanent Professors. Faculty members with winning proposals are appointed Associates and Fellows and awarded one semester of release time to pursue their projects in the coming academic year. CAS Fellows are untenured University of Illinois faculty members whose proposals are selected in an annual competition.
In accordance with the CAS mission, these appointments provide an incentive to pursue the highest level of scholarly achievement. They also provide faculty members with an unusual opportunity to explore new ideas and demonstrate early results.