In Memoriam: Messing, Joachim (Jo)

Joachim (Jo) Messing, pioneer of DNA sequencing whose techniques enabled scientists to study the building blocks of viruses, improve the yield of crop plants and understand the development of cancer in humans, died on September 13, 2019, at the age of 73.  He was a member of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), and a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.  He served as the Selman A. Waksman Professor of Molecular Genetics, University Distinguished Professor, and long-time director of the Waksman Institute at Rutgers University.  

From the Rutgers Website:
“Messing made pioneering and foundational contributions that underpin the modern fields of genetics, genomics, and evolutionary biology.  He invented “shotgun” sequencing of DNA, an approach that vastly empowered the advance of the genomic era of biology.  The tools he created and distributed widely without restrictions put the sequencing of DNA in everyone’s hands and led to its automation and in time its industrialization.  His work fueled both fundamental and applied applications that have been transformative globally in agriculture, medicine, and the basic sciences.”

Complete obituary available on the Rutgers website