Dr. Toni M. Kutchan The Oliver M. Langenberg Distinguished Investigator and Vice President for Research at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center “Medicines from plants— A nexus of biodiversity and biotechnology” (Kutchan website) Toni Kutchan spent twenty years leading research in Germany, most recently as Professor and Department Head at the Leibniz Institute for Plant Biochemistry in Halle, as well as its Managing Director. Her primary research interests are the biosynthesis of plant medicinal compounds such as alkaloids and the development of plant synthetic biology systems. She is a member of the Board of Scientific Advisors of the Schering Research Foundation, Central Selection Committee of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Scientific Advisory Committee of the William L. Brown Center for Plant Genetic Resources of the Missouri Botanical Garden, Forshungszentrum Jülich and BioDiscovery Institute of the University of North Texas. She is also a member of the STEM Advisory Committee of the Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri, Board of Trustees of the Academy of Science–St. Louis, Berlin-Brandenberg Academy of Sciences, German National Academy of Science Leopoldina, and a Fellow of the Academy of Science–St. Louis, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She also serves as an Adjunct Professor of Biology at Washington University and the University of Missouri, St. Louis. Dr. Kutchan holds a B.S. in Chemistry from the Illinois Institute of Technology, a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from St. Louis University, the Dr. Habil. and venia legendi in biochemistry from the University of Munich.
Dr. Henry Daniell The Chouncey Egel Endowed Professor and Director of Translational Research at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine “Chloroplast bioreactors: leaf as a production system for biopharmaceuticals, enzymes and vaccines ” (Daniell website) Henry Daniell is the Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a foreign member of the Italian National Academy of Sciences and the Editor in Chief of the Plant Biotechnology Journal, Oxford, UK. He is recipient of several awards including the American Diabetes Association Award, American Heart Association, Bayer Hemophilia global award and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Award for his outstanding contributions. Prof. Daniell pioneered chloroplast genetic engineering as a new platform to produce and orally deliver low cost vaccines and biopharmaceuticals bioencapsulated in plant cells. Proteins drugs are protected from acids and enzymes in the stomach by bioencapsulation within plant cells and the gut bacteria digest plant cell wall to release them into the blood circulation system. This novel production and delivery platform are agnostic to diseases or indications. The proof-of concept has been demonstrated to treat major metabolic or genetic disorders, including Alzheimer’s, diabetes, hypertension, hemophilia and retinopathy. Booster vaccines to prevent global infectious diseases like tuberculosis, malaria, cholera, polio and biological threats, such as anthrax and plague. Studies with FDA and CDC funded by the Gates Foundation, NIH SMARTT program or major pharmaceutical companies help to advance these inventions to the clinic. Chloroplasts are also advanced as bioreactors to produce enzymes for textile, detergent or biofuel industrial applications. Ranked by Nature Biotechnology among the top ten inventions of the past decade and among Biomed Central’s Hot 100 authors in the globe, he has >100 published or granted global patents and >250 scientific publications.
Dr. Harry J Klee Professor, Horticultural Sciences Department, Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology Program, University of Florida “A multi-disciplinary approach to understanding the genetic control of tomato flavor” (Klee website) Harry Klee received a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Massachusetts. He did postdoctoral research at the University of Washington. He was employed by Monsanto Company from 1984-1995 where he was a member of the team that developed herbicide resistant crops. In 1995, he took an endowed chair at the University of Florida where he established a program to understand the biochemistry and genetics underlying flavor of fruit crops. Working in collaboration with sensory and food scientists, his laboratory has identified the chemicals that define good tomato flavor. He has used large-scale genomics approaches to understand why modern commercial tomatoes have lost good flavor and to develop a genetic roadmap for recovering heirloom flavor. Harry is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and currently serves as Past-President of the American Society of Plant Biologists
Dr. Anthony J Kinney Research Director, Corteva Agriscience™, Agricultural Division of Dow DuPont “Improving the Composition of Seeds for Food, Feed and Aquaculture” Anthony J. Kinney is the leader of the Output Traits group in the Trait Discovery organization at Corteva Agriscience™, Agricultural Division of Dow DuPont, based in Johnston, Iowa. In this role, he leads a group of scientists responsible for the discovery, optimization and lead development of traits that add value to seeds by modifying their composition. Tony earned a doctorate in plant sciences from Oxford University in 1985 and a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Sussex, UK, in 1980. He has had postdoctoral research experience in plant metabolism at Louisiana State University, and in food science, yeast biochemistry and molecular biology at Rutgers University. Tony joined DuPont in 1989 as a research scientist in the Agricultural Products department at the DuPont Experimental Station in Wilmington, Delaware. He is an adjunct Professor in the Plant and Soil Sciences Department at the University of Delaware, has served on the scientific advisory board of various universities and research institutions and was an editor at Plant Physiology for over 25 years.