HudsonAlpha Research Seminars hosts crop researcher

Erik Sacks, PhD, of the University of Illinois, presented a noon seminar on Wednesday, April 12, in the HudsonAlpha Auditorium. Sacks’ talk was titled “Population and quantitative genetics of Miscanthus, a biomass crop, an ornamental crop and a genetic resource for improving sugarcane.”

Sacks is an associate professor of perennial grass breeding and genetics in the Department of Crops Sciences at the University of Illinois. The long-term goal of his research is to use the tools of genetics to facilitate the breeding of improved crop cultivars that will address important societal needs, such as the sustainable production of food, fiber, and energy. His past research has included work on rice, tomato, cotton, strawberry, blueberry and, most recently, perennial bioenergy grasses. Major research themes of his career have been: expanding the use of germplasm resources, especially wild relatives, for crop improvement, and developing new crop types (e.g. perennial grain crops and Miscanthus for bioenergy).

Kankshita Swaminathan, PhD, hosted the seminar.

The next HudsonAlpha Research Seminar will be at noon on April 19 in the auditorium featuring HudsonAlpha Life Sciences Prize Recipient Bruce Alberts, PhD. Alberts is professor emeritus at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine.

More information on HudsonAlpha Research Seminars, including an upcoming schedule, can be found at