Philip Benfey

Duke University

Primary Section: 25, Plant Biology
Membership Type:
Member (elected 2010)


Philip Benfey is an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Paul Kramer Professor of Biology at Duke University. Dr. Benfey received a Diplome d’Etudes Universitaire General (DEUG) from the University of Paris VI, and then went to graduate school at Harvard Medical School, where he completed his thesis with Phil Leder in 1986. He performed post-doctoral work with Nam-Hai Chua at the Rockefeller University from 1987 to 1990 and was named an Assistant Professor there. In 1991 he started an independent laboratory at NYU where he rose through the ranks from Assistant Professor to Full Professor. In 2002 he moved to Duke University as chair of the Biology Department, a position he held for 5 years before becoming the Director of the Duke Center for Systems Biology. In 2007 he founded a biotechnology company, GrassRoots Biotechnology, which was sold to a multi-national firm in 2013. He then co-founded a second company, Hi Fidelity Genetics, which uses proprietary technology to monitor root growth in the field. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the US National Academy of Sciences.

Research Interests

The work in my laboratory focuses on the plant root as a tractable system to address questions central to developmental biology. In particular, my lab has identified and modeled gene regulatory networks that control patterning and differentiation in the root. It has also identified genes and networks that regulate root growth and architecture.

Powered by Blackbaud
nonprofit software