DuPont, CSHL renews plant biology research effort

by Eric Schroeder
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WILMINGTON, DEL. — E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) have renewed their multi-million dollar research collaboration for another five years. The collaborative effort began in 2007 and supports cutting-edge plant biology research focused on meeting growing food demands worldwide.

“Innovative science and technology are at the core of productivity improvements that will allow us to meet global food security goals of ensuring that people everywhere have access to sufficient and nutritious food that meets their dietary need and food preferences for a healthy life,” said John Bedbrook, vice-president of agricultural biotechnology at DuPont. “We must leverage all the science and technology tools available, including this important collaboration with CSHL. Our collaboration has contributed to — and will continue to contribute to — increasing our understanding of the basic genetic mechanisms controlling plant growth and development which will contribute to global food security in the coming decades.”

Bruce Stillman, president of CSHL, said the collaborative effort allows the two companies to leverage each other’s strengths “to achieve research results that we believe will lead to important improvements in crop yield around the world.”

The renewal of the collaboration agreement will continue the expansion of knowledge about the genetic basis of fundamental plant processes controlling growth, development and yield. It also will help facilitate the development of innovative products to meet future global food needs, the companies said.

“As scientists, we get excited about seeing our discoveries translated into real-world applications,” said Rob Martienssen, a CSHL professor and investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. “It is clear that basic research in these areas has the potential to radically change the face of the agricultural industry.”

Founded in 1890, CSHL has shaped contemporary biomedical research and education with programs in cancer, neuroscience, plant biology and quantitative biology.
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