- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
Then it was Thomas Sparks in 2012
Now it's Keith Wing in 2014.
They're all linked together not only because each received the prestigious International Award for Research in Agrochemicals, sponsored by the American Chemical Society, but because they all once worked together at the same time in the Hammock lab.
Hammock, distinguished professor of entomology with the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology and formerly a UC Riverside faculty member, was the first-ever recipient of the award, which is co-sponsored by BASF Corporation and DuPont Crop Protection.
"Keith got his Ph.D. in entomology from UC Riverside but did most of his Ph.D. work in the entomology department here (UC Davis) where he also was a postdoc," Hammock recalled. Wing worked in the Hammock lab from 1976 to 1980 at UC Riverside, and from 1980 to 1981 at UC Davis.
Sparks, who now lives in Greenfield, Ind., was Hammock's first graduate student at UC Riverside and later worked in his lab at UC Davis. “Tom was instrumental in the discovery and development of a new class of insecticides called spinosids,” Hammock said.
Wing, of the greater Philadelphia area, formed Keith D. Wing Consulting, LLC, in January 2012. He specializes in agriculture, renewable chemicals and life science clients, domestic or international, including biotechnology companies and the United Soybean Board (management of six renewable chemistry projects from soy residues).
Wing worked for E. I. DuPont, Wilmington, Del. from 1990-2011, advancing to team principal investigator and technical lead for Saccharification Enzymes. As a DuPoint employee, Wing received a number of the company's agricultural products global technology accomplishment awards in his search for safer pesticides.
Prior to joining DuPont, he was a senior insect physiologist of Rohm and Haas Co., Spring House, Pa., for seven years.
Wing studied at four UC institutions: UCLA, Berkeley, Riverside and Davis. He received his bachelor's degree in biology, specializing in entomology and physiology, from UCLA, summa cum laude, in 1976. He worked on his doctorate at UC Riverside and UC Davis from 1976 to 1981 with Professor Hammock, studying insect biochemistry/entomology and specializing in insect physiology and toxicology. Wing's dissertation: "Juvenile Hormone Esterases of Trichoplusia ni and other Lepidoptera: Characteristics, Site of Synthesis, Interaction with Other Proteins and Inhibition."
After receiving his doctorate, Wing worked at both UC Davis and UC Berkeley. His second postdoctoral research entomologist position was from 1981 to 1983 in Professor John E. Casida's pesticide chemistry and toxicology lab at UC Berkeley.