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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

USDA Agency Gives Awards for Moving Research to Market / December 5, 1996 / News from the USDA Agricultural Research Service

To test effectiveness against coccidiosis, microbiologist Harry Danforth prepares to inject hybridoma-produced coccidia antibodies into poultry.

USDA Agency Gives Awards for Moving Research to Market

By Ben Hardin
December 5, 1996

WASHINGTON, Dec. 5--Simply inventing something new wasn't enough for a Maryland-based scientist who developed an alternative to drug treatment for a costly poultry disease, and two scientists at Peoria, Ill., who combined starch, oil and water to make a gel with versatile food and industrial potential. These researchers went "the extra mile" to attract industry interest in their inventions, helping move their discoveries from the drawing board to the marketplace.

The scientists will be rewarded Dec. 11 with technology transfer awards from their employer, the Agricultural Research Service, chief research agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. An awards ceremony is scheduled at the agency's Beltsville, Md., research center.

The Agricultural Research Service's annual technology transfer awards "are a venue to reward research that begins in the laboratory and ends with farmers, industry and consumers," said Edward B. Knipling, acting ARS administrator. Knipling will present the awards.

A gold plaque will go to microbiologist Harry D. Danforth, who is working with industry to develop a gel vaccine to control the poultry disease coccidiosis, estimated to cost U.S. poultry growers $600 million annually in medication costs and lost production. Danforth works at the ARS Parasite Biology and Epidemiology Laboratory at Beltsville.

Procedures for dispensing the vaccine are now being field tested. Danforth is cooperating with commercial companies through ten Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADA's), Trust Agreements or Memorandums of Understanding.

Chemists Kenneth Eskins and George F. Fanta also will receive gold plaques for transferring to industry the process for making Fantesk, a stable blend of starch, water and vegetable oils or other fat-like materials. The scientists have working arrangements with at least eight companies exploring potential applications of Fantesk including its use in low-fat foods, cosmetics, adhesives, seed coatings and pharmaceuticals. Fanta and Eskins work at the research agency's National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research at Peoria, Ill.

One individual and five groups of researchers will receive silver plaques at the Dec. 11 awards ceremony for their achievements in transferring technology from the lab to industry. They are:

  • Donna M. Gibson, a plant physiologist with the ARS Plant Protection Research unit in Ithaca, N.Y. , and Raymond E.B. Ketchum, formerly with ARS and now a visiting scientist at Cornell University. Gibson and Ketchum are being honored for transferring to industry the technology for a plant cell culture-based system to produce taxol, a promising chemotherapeutic drug.
  • Plant pathologists Charles Wilson and Wojciech Janisiewicz and plant physiologist Michael E. Wisniewski of the ARS Appalachian Fruit Research Station at Kearneysville, W. Va. They are being recognized for their research and cooperation with industry leading to developing, commercializing and registering the first biologically-based alternatives to synthetic fungicides for controlling postharvest diseases of fruits.
  • Microbiologist David J. Nisbet, veterinary medical officer Donald E. Corrier and chemist John R. DeLoach, for developing and transferring to industry the technology behind a mixture of natural bacteria that can be sprayed onto newly hatched broiler chicks to protect them against invasion by Salmonella bacteria. Nisbet and Corrier work at the ARS Food and Feed Safety Research unit at College Station, Texas. DeLoach was leader of the research unit, but now works for a private company, Milk Specialties Co., Inc., of Dundee, Ill.
  • LaVerne E. Stetson, an agricultural engineer at the ARS Soil and Water Conservation Research unit at Lincoln, Neb., for promoting electrical safety through workshops and seminars on the efficiency of agricultural wiring applications and stray voltage detection and correction.
  • Barbara A. Leonhardt and E. David DeVilbiss, for developing a new dispenser for an attractant used to lure gypsy moths in detection programs. Leonhardt is director of the ARS Plant Sciences Institute at Beltsville, Md., and DeVilbiss is a scientist at the Beltsville facility.
  • Microbiologists Norman J. Stern, J. Stan Bailey, Nelson A. Cox and Leroy C. Blankenship, for developing and transferring to industry technology that reduces consumer exposure to highly infectious disease-causing bacteria. The researchers work in the Poultry Microbiological Safety Research unit at the ARS Richard B. Russell Agricultural Research Center at Athens, Ga.

Contact: Edward B. Knipling, Acting ARS Administrator, Washington, DC. Telephone: (202) 720-3656.

Chemists process starch and oil together in superheated steam under pressure to form Fantesk.

Last Modified: 4/18/2014
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