Washington University in St. Louis
Campus Box 1137
One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
As Special Assistant to the Provost for Corporate Engagement, Ralph and other senior officials at Washington University, will engage with companies to promote the St. Louis region and Washington University as a destination to establish a presence that will be mutually beneficial. He has had numerous interactions with industry and corporations: Research Manager at Dupont in molecular biology; directed one of the first academic/industry programs for basic research between the Monsanto Company and Washington University; co-founder of MOgene, LC a genomic services company in St. Louis. He continues to serve on several boards and consults for start-ups, major agricultural companies, and research institutions. He is also a Senior Partner in Exeteur a new venture development company that provides expertise to build teams of entrepreneurs around a new technology/start-up. He is also a Venture Partner for the St. Louis based Lewis and Clark Venture Fund focused on agriculture.
Ralph has served in several administrative positions at Washington University over the last 18 years, the most recent (2010-2015) as Dean of School of Engineering & Applied Science. Since receiving his Ph.D. in Biology from Yale University, he served on the faculties at Oregon State University and the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. He is internationally known for his plant science research, and widely recognized for his significant and continued contributions to the life sciences (>170 publications). Most recently his research has focused on using genomics and systems approaches to the study of drought tolerance in plants. He was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Society of Plant Biologists. He is an Advisory Board Trustee, a Fellow, and recipient of the 2015 Science Leadership Award from the Academy of Science of St. Louis. For five years he was editor-in-chief of The Plant Cell, the premier journal of plant biology, and served for eight years as a member of the Board of Reviewing Editors of Science.