Richard Veilleux, professor of horticulture in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech, has been reappointed the Julian Haden Gary and Margaret Savage Gary Professor of Horticulture by Virginia Tech President Timothy D. Sands and Senior Vice President and Provost Mark G. McNamee.
The Julian Haden Gary and Margaret Savage Gary Professorship in Horticulture was established with a gift from Margaret Savage Gary. An avid gardener, Margaret Gary wanted her gift to support an area of lifelong interest she shared with her husband and to honor her nephew, Stuart Johnson, who is an alumnus of Virginia Tech. Recipients hold the professorship for a period of five years.
Veilleux has held the Julian Haden Gary and Margaret Savage Gary Professorship since 2010.
A member of Virginia Tech faculty since 1981, Veilleux has conducted research on the genetic improvement of crops to significantly impact horticultural science around the world. His haploid breeding lines of potatoes, one of which serves as the draft genome of cultivated potato, are used in many breeding programs.
Veilleux's collaboration with the International Strawberry Genome Sequencing Consortium and the International Potato Genome Sequencing Consortium resulted in publication of the first sequenced genomes for both the Rosaceae (rose, apple, and others) and Solanaceae (potato, tomato, and others) families. These sequenced genomes have already been used extensively in research and will be invaluable for the future development of improved varieties of these crops.
He has published more than 90 peer-reviewed journal articles, numerous book chapters, and other publications. He has graduated 38 graduate students and is currently advising three more.
Veilleux received his bachelor's degree from Tufts University, his master's degree from the University of British Columbia, and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.
Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.