Professor of Molecular Biology and Genetics. Dr. Wu developed the first method for sequencing DNA and some of the fundamental tools for DNA cloning in 1970. He led research on genetic modification of rice and other crops to increase resistance to pests, drought, heat, salt, and other environmental stresses. Dr. Wu died in Ithaca on February 10, 2008.
Ray Wu was born in Beijing in 1928. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Alabama and his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Pennsylvania in 1955. From 1955 to 1966, Dr. Wu conducted research at the Public Health Research Institute of the City of New York. He came to Cornell in 1966 as an associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, became a professor in 1972, and in 2004 was named the Liberty Hyde Bailey Professor of Molecular Biology and Genetics. He served as department chair in the Section of Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology. He founded the China-United States Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Examination and Application Program, which from 1982 to 1989, brought over 400 of the top Chinese students to the U.S. for graduate training. While on sabbatical leave in 1989, he served as director of the Institute of Molecular Biology of Academia Sinica in Taipei, Taiwan. He also served as an honorary professor at Peking University. He held many advisory roles to the Chinese and Taiwanese governments and as science advisor to the China National Center for Biotechnology Development, and chaired the Scientific Advisory Committee of BioAgricultural Sciences (Taiwan), the Advisory Committee to the Transgenic Plan Program, National Science Council (Taiwan), and the Board of Scientific Advisors of the International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology. He was elected a fellow of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science in 2003; and elected a fellow in the Chinese Academy of Engineering.
From the guide to the Ray Wu papers, [ca. 1966-2007], (Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library)