Michael Purugganan is the Silver Professor of Biology and former Dean for Science, New York University. He obtained his PhD at the University of Georgia (1993) and postdoctoral research as an Alfred P. Sloan Molecular Evolution Fellow at the University of California in San Diego. Prior to joining the NYU faculty, he was the William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor of Genetics at North Carolina State University. He sits on the editorial boards of the journals Molecular Biology and Evolution, Genome Biology and Evolution, and Trends in Plant Sciences. He serves as a trustee of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Over the past few years, he also served on the Biological Sciences Advisory Committee of the US National Science Foundation. He was the US representative to the Council of Scientists of the Human Frontiers Science Program. Among his awards include being a Guggenheim, Kavli and OECD Fellow, and winning the Khalifa International Date Palm Award.