February 18, 2008

Two Former Cornell Professors Pass Away

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Ray J. Wu
Prof. Ray J. Wu, molecular biology and genetics, passed away on Feb. 10 in Ithaca due to cardiac arrest. He was 79. In 1970, Wu established the first method for sequencing DNA and laid the groundwork for DNA cloning that has gone on to help scientists unravel the DNA sequence determination of rice and human genomes.
Born in China and raised in the U.S., Wu served as a scientific advisor to the governments of both China and Taiwan, while also counseling U.S.-relations in the areas of biological science and evolution.
Wu started his illustrious career at Cornell in 1966 as an associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology. He had gone on to help found numerous institutions and scholarships within the genetics and molecular biology communities in hopes of furthering research and new discoveries. While at Cornell, Wu developed a pest-resistant rice plant and genetically engineered it to be more tolerant of drought, salt, and temperature difference, in order to produce a higher yield.
Joseph T. Sneed
Joseph T. Sneed III, who taught law at the University, died at his home this Saturday. He was 87.
He served as a judge on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for almost 35 years. Pres. Nixon appointed Sneed to the bench in 1973. Sneed also served as the Deputy U.S. Attorney General. Prior to that, he served as the Dean of the Duke University School of Law from 1971 to 1973.
He graduated from the University of Texas School of Law in 1947and served as staff sergeant in the Army Air Corps during World War II.