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Appalachian Student Research Forum

Office of Research and Sponsored Programs

2011 Keynote Speaker

2011 Keynote Speaker

Dr. Richard A. Dixon

Senior Vice President,
and Director of the Plant Biology Division

at the

Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation


Ardmore, Oklahoma

Dr. Dixon pic

Richard A. Dixon also holds Adjunct Professorships at Rice University, the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Oklahoma. He received his Bachelors and Doctoral degrees in Biochemistry and Botany from Oxford University (UK), and postdoctoral training in Plant Biochemistry at Cambridge University (UK). He was awarded the Doctor of Science degree for his research achievements by Oxford University in 2004. His research interests center on molecular biology and metabolic engineering of plant natural product pathways. He has published over 380 papers on these and related topics, and has been named by the Institute for Scientific Information as one of the 10 most cited authors in the plant and animal sciences. Professor Dixon is Co-Editor-in-Chief of the journal BioEnergy Research, and a member of the Editorial Boards of four other international journals. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and was elected to Membership of the US National Academy of Sciences in 2007.

Keynote Address Abstract

From Agriculture to Neuroscience - Designer Plants
for the 21 st Century

The successes of agriculture and medicine in the latter part of the 20th century have resulted in a population explosion in the less developed countries and ageing populations with new health care challenges in the developed countries. Throughout history, plants have provided food for humans, feed for livestock, shelter and fuel (eg. timber), clothing (fibers), and medicines. The combination of increasing population pressure and climate change is threatening the sustainability of crop production to meet many of these important needs, and changing uses for traditional crops (eg fuel versus feed) provide additional challenges. This talk will provide examples of how plants can be re-designed to meet some of these global needs and challenges, with a focus on traits such as forage quality, biofuel processing ability, and delivery of nutritional components for age-related disorders in humans.

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