RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. -- Mary-Dell Chilton, Ph.D., a distinguished science fellow at Syngenta, has been named a National Academy of Inventors Fellow. Fellow status is granted to academic inventors and innovators who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society.
One of the founders of modern plant biotechnology, Chilton’s research led her to produce the first transgenic plant in 1983, which contributed to increased agricultural productivity around the world. Last year, 18 million farmers in 28 countries planted nearly 450 million acres of biotech crops.
“My career in biotechnology has been an exciting journey, and I am amazed to see the progress we have made over the years,” said Chilton. “My hope is that through continued scientific discoveries, we will be able to provide a brighter and better future for the generations that follow us. I am proud of my efforts and my Syngenta colleagues’ continued drive to innovate new ways to deliver solutions to farmers.”
This is the fourth recent national honor for Chilton, who continues to research plant genetics and biotechnology from the Syngenta lab in Research Triangle Park, N.C. In 2015, she was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Hall of Heroes. In 2013, she was named a World Food Prize laureate, the foremost international award recognizing individuals who positively impact the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world.
The new fellows account for 5,368 issued U.S. patents, bringing the collective patents held by all academy fellows to more than 20,000. The fellows have made a significant impact to the economy through innovative discoveries, creating startup companies and enhancing the culture of academic invention.
The National Academy of Inventors Fellows were inducted on April 15, 2016, as part of the Fifth Annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors at the United States Patent and Trademark Office in Washington, D.C.