Fedak was born on Dec. 28, 1940 in Hudson Bay, Sask. In 1963, he received his bachelor's degree in plant sciences, followed by a master's degree in 1965, from the University of Saskatchewan. He went on to complete a PhD in cytogenetics at the University of Manitoba, followed by a post-doctoral fellowship with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Ottawa, where he remains on staff.
The wide field of his scientific interests covers such fields as remote hybridization of plants, search for and introduction into the selection of new genes from wild species, molecular genetics and molecular cytology, research of QTL loci in populations of dihaploids in tissue culture, development of physical maps of chromosomes using EST induced by fungal infection, and pyramidation of disease resistance genes.
Fedak has earned a reputation as a world-famous scientist, making invaluable contributions to the world treasury of research in leading cereal crops of barley and wheat.