Dr. Chassy received his A.B. in Chemistry from San Diego State University in 1962, and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Cornell University in 1966. Dr. Chassy worked as a Research Chemist for the National Institute of Dental Research, National Institute of Health for 21 years before he came to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as the Head of the Department of Food Science. Following that department’s merger with the Division of Foods and Nutrition, Dr. Chassy was appointed Head of the new Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition. He served in that role until May 2000 when he accepted his present position.
How does agricultural biotechnology contribute to solving the world's need for more food, water, and fuels?
It is an indispensable tool to increase yields under conditions of biotic and abiotic stress. In the world of the future, with more people, less land and less water to work with, it will allow us to produce crops to meet those needs.
Why should the public and policymakers care about agricultural biotechnology?
Transgenic crops are inexpensive to develop and at the same time can solve problems that cannot be solved through conventional breeding. The return on resources invested is high.
Where will the field of agricultural biotechnology be in 10 years?
I am confident that over the next 10 years there will be additional research and science information showing that biotech crops are safe and useful. I cannot see us meeting future needs in agriculture without biotechnology.