IFAS presents Jianping Wang with Richard L. Jones award

Jianping Wang’s dedication to advancing research and education recently merited her the Richard L. Jones Outstanding New Faculty Research Award for 2015. It is one of the most prestigious awards offered by the UF/IFAS Dean for Research Office.

Wang’s research focuses on translation genomics for crop improvement, particularly sugarcane and peanuts. She studies the genetic basis of important agronomic and economic traits of these crops to develop systematic genetic strategies for enhancements such as disease resistance, and increasing their biomass yield.

Wang didn’t know she was being considered for the award.

“I feel very honored,” she said. “First surprised, and then later on excited.”

The award is presented to untenured faculty who have demonstrated a distinguished record of research since arriving at UF/IFAS. Wang was presented with the award during the 8th Annual Florida Agricultural Experiment Station Awards Ceremony Tuesday, May 19.

“We are thrilled that Dr. Wang received the Richard L. Jones Award,” said Robert Gilbert, PhD, chair of the department of agronomy. “She has done a tremendous job of establishing a very productive research program in her role as assistant professor in IFAS.”

In her three years at UF, Wang has achieved 11 career-referred journal publications, appearing in journals such as SciencePNASNature and Euphytica.

She has garnered almost $1 million in grants from a variety of federal agencies and Florida grower organizations.

“As former center director of the Everglades Research and Education Center, I personally attended many of her research presentations and can attest to the respect and trust the Florida sugarcane growers have for her program,” Gilbert said.

In addition to her scientific accomplishments, Gilbert also praised her excellence in the classroom, “Dr. Wang is a conscientious and innovative instructor who has worked diligently to improve her course content and delivery.”

She developed a new graduate course, AGR 6932, “Plant Chromosome and Genomes,” which she taught for the first time spring 2014.

Wang supervises over a dozen students in her lab, and serves as the advisor for the plant genetics specialization for the plant science major, and has counseled more than 20 students.

Wang said the award will motivate her to keep pushing forward, “It confirms that what I am doing is valuable.”