Brian Steffenson is Distinguished Global Professor and Lieberman-Okinow Endowed Chair in the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul. His research focuses on the genetics of disease resistance in barley and molecular/virulence diversity of fungal plant pathogens. Steffenson helped lead international efforts in combatting outbreaks of Fusarium head blight and stem rust of barley. He currently leads the International Wild Barley Sequencing Consortium whose aim is to exploit Hordeum vulgare ssp. spontaneum for novel alleles that can enhance yield, agronomic, and quality traits in cultivated barley.