Brian Staskawicz received his Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from the University of California, Berkeley. He is currently a Professor in the Plant and Microbial Biology Department and the Scientific Director of Agricultural Genomics at the Innovative Genomics Institute (IGI). Staskawicz has made many seminal contributions to the understanding of infection strategies of plant pathogens and defense mechanisms of plants. These include the cloning of the first pathogen effector gene and the cloning and characterization of one of the first plant NLR immune receptors. More recently, he is leading an effort at the IGI in the genome editing of agriculture crops for biotic and abiotic stress resistance and improved plant performance. He is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences and a Foreign Member of the Royal Society.