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Dr. John Sanford


As a Cornell University Professor for more than 25 years, John has been semi-retired since 1998. His Ph.D. was in plant breeding and plant genetics. While a professor at Cornell, John has trained graduate students and conducted genetic research at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, NY. During this time, John bred new crop varieties using conventional breeding and then became heavily involved in the newly-emerging field of plant genetic engineering. John has published over 80 scientific publications and has been granted over 30 patents. His most significant scientific contributions involve three inventions, the biolistic (“gene gun”) process, pathogen-derived resistance, and genetic immunization. A large fraction of the transgenic crops (in terms of numbers and acreage) grown in the world today were genetically engineered using the gene gun technology developed by John and his collaborators. John also started two biotech enterprises derived from his research, Biolistics, Inc., and Sanford Scientific, Inc. John still holds a position at Cornell (Courtesy Associate Professor), but has largely retired from Cornell University.