Professor of Biology | Washington University
Dr. Roger Beachy is Professor of Biology at Washington University. Beachy was appointed by President Obama to the National Science Board June 2014-2020 and was Director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) at the USDA October 2009 through mid-2011. He served as Chief Scientist of USDA from January – October 2010. He previously (2014-2016) was Founding Executive Director of the World Food Center and later Senior Science Advisor at the World Food Center, UC Davis. From January 1999 to October 2009 he was the founding president of the not-for-profit Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, MO. In this role, Dr. Beachy was responsible for developing and implementing the Center’s strategic direction, recruiting its staff and formulating its research programs.
Currently Dr. Beachy holds positions as advisor/consultant in multiple profit and non-profit entities: Member of the U.S. National Science Board of the NSF; Member, Committee on Policy and Global Affairs, U.S. National Academy of Sciences and Medicine/NRC; Member, Science Advisory Council, International Center for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, a NATO organization; Chair Science Advisory Board and Senior Advisor, Indigo Agriculture, Boston MA; Chief Science Officer, Kultevat Co, St. Louis, MO; Member, Board of Directors and Science Advisor, Performance Plants, Kingston, ON; Board of Directors, MicroGen Biotech LLC, Dublin, Ireland; Dean’s Board of Advisors, Michigan State University.
From 1991 to 1998, Dr. Beachy headed the Division of Plant Biology at The Scripps Research Institute, a leading biomedical research center in La Jolla, California. He was also Professor and Scripps Family Chair in Cell Biology and co-director of the International Laboratory for Tropical Agricultural Biotechnology (ILTAB) at Scripps.
Dr. Beachy was a Professor of the Biology Department at Washington University in St. Louis from 1978 to 1991 and was Director of the Center for Plant Science and Biotechnology, one of the first such centers in the US. His work at Washington University led to the development of the world’s first genetically modified food crop, a variety of tomato that was modified for resistance to virus
disease. His technique to produce virus resistance in tomatoes has been replicated by researchers around the world and has led to the production of many types of virus-resistant plants.
Research under Dr. Beachy’s direction has led to a number of issued and licensed patents. He has edited or contributed to 50 book articles, and his work has produced more than 290 journal publications in topics related to plant pathology and molecular virology, regulation of gene expression in plants, and agriculture biotechnology. Dr. Beachy has been honored for his work including membership in the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and recipient of the 2001 Wolf Prize in Agriculture. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Microbiology and is a
Foreign Associate in the Korea National Academy of Science, the National Academy of Science India, the Indian National Science Academy, Foreign Associate of the Third World Academy of Sciences and the Academy of Science of St. Louis. He was the 1991 recipient of the Bank of Delaware’s Commonwealth Award for Science and Industry and the 1990 recipient of the American
Phytopathological Society’s Ruth Allen Award. In 2011 he received the Individual Achievement Award, DBN Technical Group Co., Ltd., Beijing. Dr Beachy was awarded the Dennis Robert Hoagland Award from the American Society of Plant Biologists, and Honorary Doctoral Degrees from Michigan State University and Monmouth College, Illinois. Named to the NIFA Hall of Fame
in 2015; Culture for Service Alumna Award, the highest award given by Goshen College; Distinguished Alumna Award, Michigan State University in 2018; R&D Magazine’s Scientist of the Year for 1999.
Dr. Beachy has served on numerous boards and committees of public sector institutions as well as companies that operate in the private sector. He is or has been a member of a number of scientific societies, including the American Society of Plant Biologists, American Phytopathological Society, American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and American Society for Virology. He served as President of the International Association for Plant Biotechnology from 2006-2010. He has served as consultant in plant biotechnology and frequently lectures on the applications of advanced technologies in agriculture and the bioeconomy.
Dr. Beachy holds a Ph.D. in plant pathology from Michigan State University and a B.A. in biology from Goshen College in Goshen, Indiana. He was a post-doctoral fellow at University of Arizona and at Cornell University, Ithaca. NY.