William Terzaghi, professor of biology, has been selected to deliver the Wilkes University 2020 Paul A. O’Hop Final Word Lecture. His presentation, “Gene Editing: How It Might Improve Human Health and Food Security” will broadcast via Zoom at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 12. It is free and open to the public. Attendees can join the broadcast by clicking here.
Gene editing, while sometimes controversial, offers potential to treat health conditions and make crops more resistant to disease and pests. The lecture will explore technologies used for gene editing and will examine its pros and cons for humans and agriculture. Terzaghi will discuss gene-editing technologies in use at Wilkes and future uses. Ethical dilemmas and the potential repercussions in the general population also will be addressed.
Terzaghi joined the Wilkes biology department in 1995. He co-directs the synthetic biology track in the master’s degree program in bioengineering. He is a member of the American Society of Plant Biologists and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
The plant biologist earned his doctorate from the University of Utah. He is a recipient of both a National Science Foundation predoctoral and postdoctoral fellowship and completed postdoctoral work at the University of Pennsylvania and the Carnegie Institution of Washington.
Terzaghi is widely published in research journals and has received numerous grants, including funding from the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He is a six-time winner of the outstanding faculty award at Wilkes and also has been recognized for innovative and interdisciplinary teaching.
The annual Paul A. O’Hop Final Word Lecture was established by the late Paul O’Hop to foster the exchange of ideas and dialogue among faculty, staff and administrators and to showcase the talents and scholarly abilities at Wilkes University. O’Hop retired from Wilkes in 2001 after serving 16 years as vice president of business affairs and auxiliary enterprises. Faculty honorees are selected via a competitive application process overseen by the Provost’s Committee on Research.