Award for Excellence in Basic Research

Jim Westwood

Westwood, a professor in the Department of Plant Pathology, Physiology, and Weed Science, was recognized for his pioneering contributions to genomics research aimed at understanding how parasitic plants manipulate their hosts and cause devastating crop losses.

He has established an internationally recognized research program on the communication among plants, focused on parasitic weeds and their relationship with hosts. Such parasitic weeds are a significant threat to agriculture throughout the world. He is the lead scientist for the Parasitic Plant Genome Project, which is a large collaborative sequencing effort that explores parasitism at the genome level.

Funding for Westwood’s research program has exceeded $8.8 million over the past 10 years from state, federal, and international competitive grants.