Texas Tech University

De los Reyes set to receive two prestigious international alumni awards

Norman Martin

October 3, 2023

Benildo de los Reyes, Texas Tech University's Bayer CropScience Endowed Chair in Plant Genomics and a Professor of Genetics within the Department of Plant & Soil Science, has been awarded two prestigious honors: the University of the Philippines Los Baños Alumni Association's (UPLBAA) Outstanding Alumni Award and the University of the Philippines Alumni Association in America's (UPAA-America) Outstanding Alumni Award.

According to the UPLBAA website, the awards ceremony, which is part of a 105th Loyalty Day & Alumni Homecoming program, will be on Sunday (Oct. 8) at the university's Charles Fuller Baker Hall. The award is conferred on alumni who have demonstrated, in their chosen field of endeavor, exceptional achievements and outstanding contributions that bring about substantial benefits to society and distinct honor to the university.

The second award to be presented by UPAA-America will be held on Saturday (Oct. 21) in New Brunswick, New Jersey. According to the UPAA-America website, the award is given annually to 10 outstanding University of the Philippines System Alumni who represent the excellent achievements of Filipino-Americans in science, engineering, medicine, visual and performing arts, and government and public service in the United States.

De los Reyes will also present a lecture titled, "The Filipino Scientists and the Moonshot Challenge to Global Food Security in the 21st Century" during the UPAA-America awards ceremony in New Jersey.

Earlier this year de los Reyes was awarded a $649,999 U.S. Department of Agriculture grant aimed at setting the foundations for the new genetic approaches that will create novel adaptive traits for the marginalized environments of the 21st century agriculture.

According to De los Reyes, the three-year project is titled “Genetic and physiological novelties for salinity tolerance in rice created by transgressive segregation.” The research project is supported by the intramural research program of the USDA's National Institute of Food & Agriculture, and the Agriculture & Food Research Initiative's Physiology of Agricultural Plants Program.

Prior to joining the Tech faculty in 2015, De los Reyes was a tenured faculty member at the University of Maine's School of Biology and Ecology, and Department of Molecular and Biomedical Sciences, moving through the ranks of assistant professor, associate professor, and professor of molecular genetics from 2004 to 2012. He also served as the school's associate director.

Earlier he worked as a postdoctoral research associate at Michigan State University's Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, a graduate research associate at Oklahoma State University's Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, and a graduate research assistant at Pennsylvania State University's Department of Horticulture.

De los Reyes received his bachelor's degree in biology with a concentration in genetics from the University of the Philippines-Los Banos. His master's degree in genetics and biochemistry was from the University of the Philippines-Los Banos and the International Rice Research Institute. He obtained his doctorate in plant science with a concentration in cellular and molecular biology from Oklahoma State University. Awards include the Texas Tech Faculty Medal of Excellence in Research (2021) and the National Institute of Genetics of Japan's International Collaborative Research Award (2011).


This story was first published in the Davis College NewsCenter. See the original article here.