After studying Natural Sciences at Cambridge University, Richard Michelmore joined the faculty of University of California at Davis in 1982. Richard was the founding Director of the Genome Center at UC Davis in 2003. He is currently a Distinguished Professor in the Departments of Plant Sciences, Molecular & Cellular Biology, and Medical Microbiology & Immunology. His multidisciplinary research utilizes molecular, genetic, and evolutionary approaches to plant genomics and he has published over 200 scientific papers. In particular, he aims to exploit such approaches for information-driven deployment of resistance genes in crop plants to provide more durable disease resistance. In addition, he is interested in fostering research to enhance global food security. His interests also include applications of DNA sequencing to all areas of biology and its increasing impact on society. In response to the current pandemic, he has been a major contributor to the team providing rapid, high throughput testing for SARS-CoV-2 to the UC Davis campus and the City of Davis and is now deploying rapid genotyping to monitor for variants of concern.