Remembering Philip Benfey: A Pioneer in Plant Developmental Biology

It is with great sadness that we received news about the passing of Philip Benfey, a highly esteemed former member of the Gregor Mendel Institute's Scientific Advisory Board.

Philip Benfey was a Professor of Biology at Duke University and an Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, where his work broke new ground in understanding how plants grow and develop at the cellular level. As one of the pioneers of Arabidopsis root developmental genetics, he discovered the molecular mechanism that regulates the development of stem cells and the radial arrangements of different cell types in the Arabidopsis root. His lab was also the first to develop single-cell transcriptome analysis in plants. 

In remembrance of Philip's impact on the scientific community, Liam Dolan, a senior group leader at GMI, expressed the following sentiments: “Philip valued community service. He mentored a generation of successful scientists, served as Department Chair at Duke University, was the founder of successful spin-out companies and was a member of on numerous scientific advisory boards, including GMI’s. Our community will miss not only the scientist and conscientious citizen but also the engaging and funny human being.”

We extend our deepest condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues. He will be greatly missed.