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Charles Arntzen

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Emeritus Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus,
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 5401
Biography

In 2000 Professor Arntzen was appointed to the Florence Ely Nelson Presidential Endowed Chair at ASU, and as the Founding Director of the Biodesign Institute in 2001. He was awarded a Regent's Professorship in 2004. Prior to joining ASU, he served as President and CEO of Boyce Thompson Institute -- a not-for-profit corporation affiliated with Cornell University.  Earlier administrative experience included service as director of the Michigan State University/Dept. of Energy Plant Research Laboratory, director of Research at the Dupont Company, and deputy chancellor for Agriculture in the Texas A&M University System.

Professor Arntzen was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 1983, and to the National Academy of Inventors in 2015. He received the USDA Award for Superior Service, and served as chairman of the National Biotechnology Policy Board of the National Institutes of Health. From 2001-2009 he served as a member of President George W. Bush’s Council of Advisors on Science & Technology. He has been awarded honorary doctorates from the University of Minnesota, Purdue University, and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

His primary research interests have been in plant molecular biology and protein engineering, as well as the utilization of plant biotechnology for enhancement of food quality and value, for expression of pharmacologically active products in plants, and for overcoming health and agricultural constraints in the developing world. He has been recognized as a pioneer in the development of plant-based vaccines for human disease prevention (with special emphasis on needs of poor countries) and for disease prevention in animal agriculture. After 2001 this research was extended to creation of effective vaccines and therapeutics to reduce the threats of biowarfare agents.

Professor Arntzen served on Boards of Directors, including DeKalb Genetics, and currently serves on that of Advanced BioNutrition, Inc. Fast Magazine chose him as the "Most Creative Person in Business" in 2015 for his work on fighting Ebola with tobacco.

Education
  • Ph.D. Cell Physiology, Purdue University 1970
  • M.S. Plant Physiology, University of Minnesota 1967
  • B.S. Plant Physiology, University of Minnesota 1965

 

Images
Tobacco Leaf superimposed on images of the Ebola Virus

Tobacco-made therapeutics

Research by our team, starting about 2001, lead to creation of new protein expression vectors based upon plant viruses. A project funded by the US Army in 2002 focused on use of tobacco to bio-manufacture vaccines and monoclonal antibodies to prevent or treat disease caused by potential biowarfare agents. An outcome of this research was the creation of ZMapp - a therapeutic used to treat Ebola patients.
Research Activity
Spring 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
Fall 2013
Course NumberCourse Title
BIO 495Undergraduate Research
Honors / Awards

1979 Charles Albert Shull Award for Outstanding Research in Plant Physiology

1980 Award for Superior Service, US Department of Agriculture

1980 Award of Excellence, Weed Science Society of America

1983 Elected Member of the National Academy of Sciences, USA

1984 Elected Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, India

1985 Elected President, American Society of Plant Physiologists

1990-1997 Member, Board of Governors of the University of Chicago for Argonne National Laboratory. Member Executive Comm.; Chair of Scientific/Technical Advisory Board

1991-1993 Member and Chairman, NIH Biotechnology Policy Board

1991-1998 SCIENCE, Editorial Board Member

1994 Dennis Robert Hoagland Award, American Association of Plant Physiologists

1994 Elected Fellow, AAAS

1997 Doctor of Science honoris causa., Purdue University, School of Science

2001-2009 President George W. Bush’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, and Presidential appointee to the National Nanotechnology Advisory Board (in 2004)

2003 Doctor of Science honoris causa., University of Minnesota

2004 American Society of Plant Biology Leadership in Science Public Service Award

2006 Botanical Society of America Centennial Award

2007 Elected Fellow of American Society of Plant Biologists

2008 Doctor of Science honoris causa., Hebrew University of Jerusalem

2009 USDA Sterling Hendricks Memorial Lecturer for 2009

2011-2012 Chair, Section O "Agriculture, Food, and Renewable Resources", American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

2015 Award by Fast Magazine for “The Most Creative Person in Business in 2015”

2015 Elected Member, National Academy of Inventors, USA

Service

 

  • National Center for Genome Resources, Member Board of Directors (2005 - 2009)
  • Rockefeller Foundation - Blue Ribbon Panel on Vaccine Development, Co-Organizer & Participant (2004 - 2005)
  • National Nanotechnology and Nanoscience Advisory Board, Member (2004 - 2008)
  • Advanced BioNutrition Corporation, Board of Directors and Scientific Advisory Board (2002 - Present)
  • President George W. Bush's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, Member (2001 - 2008)
  • Burrill and Company Nutraceutical Capital Fund, Advisory Board (2000 - 2008)
  • Council for Biotechnology Information, Distinguished Advisor (2000 - 2010)
  • National Research Council's Review Committee for the Biomedical Research and Technology Transfer Partnership Awards Program of the State of Ohio, Chair (2002 - 2006)
  • Boyce Thompson Southwestern Arboretum, Board of Directors (2003 - 2009)
  • Burrill and Company Agbio Capital Fund, Advisory Board (2003 - 2004)
  • Mesa Community College, Advisory Board (2004)
  • NIH Center for Sexually Transmitted Infections & Topical Microbicides Cooperative Research Center, Director (2004)
  • Epicyte Pharmaceutical Inc, Scientific Advisory Board (2003)
  • Third Wave AgBio, Inc, Board of Directors (1998 - 2001)
  • Kimeragen, Inc, Board of Scientific Advisors (1996 - 2001)
  • Integrated Protein Technologies Scientific , Monsanto, Advistory Board (1999 - 2000)
  • Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research, Ithaca, New York, President/CEO (1995 - 2000)