Professor Emeritus University of California Berkeley
The single most important decision that all researchers face is what to work on. Following 34 years as a professor, I recently took a position as a program officer in a philanthropy that supports some aspects of scientific and biomedical research. In that capacity I search for opportunities to support outstanding research that is not likely to be supported by other funders. Although the vast majority of the grants I have recommended are for biomedical research, I have observed some trends that may be relevant to emerging opportunities in plant biology. I have also gained some perspective into the contributions of former program officers at the federal agencies such as Greg and Machi Dilworth, Bob Rabson and Mary Clutter, and many others, who helped shape modern plant biology.