Michael P. Timko is a Professor of Biology & Public Health Science at the University of Virginia and Director of the Distinguished Major Program in Human Biology. He received a BS from the Rutgers College of Agriculture and Environmental Science in 1975, studied genetics and breeding at Michigan State University , and earned his PhD from Rutgers University in 1980. He held postdoctoral positions at the Institute for Photobiology at Brandeis University (1980-1982) and the Laboratory of Cell Biology at Rockefeller University (1982-1986), where he was involved in some of the earliest studies of gene transfer methods to plants, including seminal research on protein targeting to organelles that resulted in technology now utilized in the production of commercial varieties of herbicide resistant plants grown worldwide. In 1986 he joined the faculty at the University of Virginia where he teaches courses that integrate his interests in plant sciences, molecular biology, food production, and nutrition and directs an internationally recognized research program that uses functional genomics for the molecular improvement of legume crops for Africa and the development of novel plant-based human nutraceuticals and therapeutics. He is actively involved in a wide range of research, training, and outreach activities throughout sub-Saharan Africa and research in his laboratory is supported by various national and international granting agencies and private foundations. He has authored or co-authored numerous research papers, book chapters and review articles, holds multiple US and world-wide patents in agricultural and nutritional biotechnology, and continues to work actively towards the open exchange of knowledge and technology among developed and emerging nations.