Science, technology, society and the environment.
– Em. Prof. Dr. Marc Van Montagu –
Marc VAN MONTAGU is a pioneer in plant molecular biology and well known, together with Jeff Schell, as the discoverer of the Ti-plasmid and inventor of Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated plant genetic transformation technology. Plant genetic engineering is nowadays used worldwide in fundamental and applied plant science research and as a tool for commercial crop improvement. Marc Van Montagu was a Founding Member and Member of the Board of Directors of two Belgian biotech companies, Plant Genetic Systems (PGS, now Bayer CropScience) and CropDesign (now BASF Plant Science). At PGS, he drove front-line innovations for agricultural biotechnology, such as plants resistant to insects or tolerant to more environmentally friendly herbicides. He has won numerous outstanding awards for his pioneering work, including the prestigious Japan Prize (1998) and the World Food Prize (2013). He is member of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), the Third World Academy of Sciences, amongst many others. Marc Van Montagu published over 750 publications with over 50,000 citations. For his accomplishments, he received the title of Baron from the King of Belgians. He is currently Chairman of the VIB-Ghent University International Plant Biotechnology Outreach. He holds a PhD in Organic Chemistry/Biochemistry from Ghent University, Belgium.