Director of the Center of Excellence in Nutritional Genomics at the University of California, Davis
Building 003 Auditorium
January 23, 2008
Dr. Rodriguez is a Professor in the Section of Molecular & Cellular Biology and Director of the Center of Excellence in Nutritional Genomics at the University of California, Davis. After receiving his Ph.D. at the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1974, he was an A.P. Giannini Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of Herbert W. Boyer at UC San Francisco Medical Center. While at UCSF, Dr. Rodriguez developed molecular cloning technologies that now serve as the foundation of the modern biotechnology industry.
Dr. Rodriguez joined the faculty at the UC Davis in 1977 and is actively involved in research and teaching at the undergraduate and graduate level. In 1988, Dr. Rodriguez was a Distinguished Visiting Professor in the International Center for Biotechnology at Osaka University, Japan, and in 1991, he was a Visiting Scientist with the Human Genome Project at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. From 1989 to 1992, Dr. Rodriguez founded and chaired the International Rice Genome Organization - a group that helped establish the framework for the sequencing of the rice genome.
In 2000, Dr. Rodriguez co-founded the Laboratory for High Performance Computing and Informatics in the Section of Molecular & Cellular Biology at UC Davis and in 2003 he became director of the NIH Center of Excellence for Nutritional Genomics. Dr. Rodriguez is a member of numerous scientific organizations and committees and he has served as an advisor to the NIH since 1988.
He has published numerous articles and books on molecular biology and biotechnology and currently holds 16 U.S. patents. His latest book is, Nutritional Genomics: Discovering the Path to Personalized Nutrition (J. Kaput and R.L. Rodriguez, eds. Wiley & Sons, 2006). In 1993, Dr. Rodriguez founded Ventria Bioscience Inc., a privately held California-based biotechnology company manufacturing disease-fighting therapeutic and nutritional proteins from plants. His current research focus is nutritional epigenomics or the study of how plant-based dietary factors alter human gene activity by chromatin modification.