| Mary-Dell Chilton|| Syngenta|
| February 2, 1939 (age 76) (1939-02-02) |
Syngenta Biotechnology Inc
Transforming Activity in Single-Stranded DNA from Bacillus subtilis (1967)
First genetically modified plants
University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign
World Food Prize, Benjamin Franklin Medal
World Food Prize, National Inventors Hall of Fame
Benjamin D. Hall
Michael W. Bevan
Mary-Dell Chilton Wikipedia
Mary-Dell Chilton (born February 2, 1939, in Indianapolis, Indiana) is one of the founders of modern plant biotechnology.
Chilton attended private school for her early education. She earned both a B.S. and Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Illinois. She later completed postdoctoral work at the University of Washington at Seattle.
Chilton taught and performed research at Washington University in St. Louis. While on faculty there in the late 1970s and early 1980s, she led a collaborative research study that produced the first transgenic plants.
Chilton was the first (1977) to demonstrate the presence of a fragment of Agrobacterium Ti plasmid DNA in the nuclear DNA of crown gall tissue. Her research on Agrobacterium also showed that the genes responsible for causing disease could be removed from the bacterium without adversely affecting its ability to insert its own DNA into plant cells and modify the plant's genome. Chilton described what she had done as disarming the bacterial plasmid responsible for the DNA transfer. She and her collaborators produced the first genetically modified plants using Agrobacterium carrying the disarmed Ti plasmid (1983). She has been called the "queen of Agrobacterium."
Chilton is author of more than 100 scientific publications. She is a Distinguished Science Fellow at Syngenta Biotechnology, Inc. She began her corporate career in 1983 with CIBA-Geigy Corporation (a legacy company of Syngenta).
For her work with Agrobacterium tumefaciens, she has been recognized with an honorary doctorate from the University of Louvaine, the John Scott Medal from the City of Philadelphia, membership in the United States National Academy of Sciences, and the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Life Sciences from the Franklin Institute.
She was honored by the Crop Science Society of America in 2011 with the organization's Presidential Award.
In honor of her many achievements, in 2002 Syngenta announced creation of the Mary-Dell Chilton Center – a new administrative and conference center which was added to the company's facility in Research Triangle Park, in North Carolina.
In June 2013, she was named a laureate of the prestigious 2013 World Food Prize.
In 2015, Chilton was elected to the National Inventors Hall of Fame.