Professor Emeritus of Plant Sciences,
Institute of Plant Sciences
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
Ingo Potrykus has improved food security in developing nations by creating and applying genetic engineering technology to crop plants. He invented a genetically modified "Golden Rice" that has higher levels of beta carotene, which could address Vitamin A deficiencies, and made the improved rice available for free distribution to subsistence farmers. His research also has focused on plant disease and pest resistance and on improving food quality, crop yields, and biosafety.
From 1987 to 1999, Dr. Potrykus was full Professor at the Institute of Plant Sciences of the ETH Zürich. Before that he spent several years at the Institute of Plant Physiology at the University of Hohenheim, was a research group leader at the Max-Planck-Institute for Plant Genetics, and established plant genetic engineering at the Friedrich Miescher-Institute in Basel.
Among his many awards have been the Kumho Science International Award in Plant Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, the American Society of Plant Biologists' Leadership in Science Public Service Award, the Crop Science of America President's Award, and the European Culture Award in Science. He received an honorary doctorate from Sweden's University of Agricultural Sciences and was featured on the cover of TIME Magazine in 2000.
Dr. Potrykus is a member of the Academia Europaea, the World Technology Network, and the Swiss Academy of Technical Sciences. He has over 300 publications in refereed journals and 30 international patents.
Dr. Potrykus earned a Ph.D. in plant genetics from the Max-Planck-Institute for Plant Breeding Research, Cologne, and a Habilitation in botany from the University of Basel.