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Mary Dell Chilton

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Name  Mary-Dell Chilton

Institution  Syngenta
Mary-Dell Chilton An Agriculture Celebrity MaryDell Chilton Real
Born  February 2, 1939 (age 76) (1939-02-02)
Institutions  Syngenta Biotechnology Inc
Thesis  Transforming Activity in Single-Stranded DNA from Bacillus subtilis (1967)
Known for  First genetically modified plants
Alma mater  University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign
Awards  World Food Prize, Benjamin Franklin Medal
Notable awards  World Food Prize, National Inventors Hall of Fame

Doctoral advisor  Benjamin D. Hall
Notable students  Michael W. Bevan

2013 world food prize laureate mary dell chilton ph d

Mary-Dell Chilton (born February 2, 1939, in Indianapolis, Indiana) is one of the founders of modern plant biotechnology.


Mary-Dell Chilton MaryDell Chilton Commencement Washington University

2013 laureate video mary dell chilton robert t fraley and marc van montagu

Early life and education

Mary-Dell Chilton wwwfarmscomPortals0Industry20NewsDrMaryjpg

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.

Research career

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.

Mary-Dell Chilton MaryDell Chilton PhD Biotechnology Pioneer World

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).

Awards and honors

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.


Mary-Dell Chilton Wikipedia

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