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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Bio-oils Research » People » Terry Isbell

Terry Isbell
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Phone: (309) 681-6235
Room 1201
1815 N University St.
Peoria IL 61604

 ORCID:  0000-0002-7239-776X


Dr. Terry A. Isbell received a B.S. in Chemistry from Bradley University in 1987 and a Ph.D in Organic Chemistry from the University of Missouri in 1991. Dr. Isbell has served in a number of roles from Postdoctoral Research Chemist to Research Leader of the New Crops Unit and currently serves as a Lead Scientist in the Bio-Oils Research Unit in the 29 years he has been at NCAUR. As a scientist Dr. Isbell has lead teams of researchers that introduced new crops throughout the U.S. Dr. Isbell discovered developed and licensed patents on new crop derivatives for lubricants and cosmetics. He currently provides oversight for the analysis of thousands of germplasm samples per year as part of a multi-disciplinary team for the development of soybeans and New Crops. Dr. Isbell oversaw the development of the only public U.S. oilseed processing pilot plant capable of taking a seed from field to marketable oil products in drum quantities. He has coauthored over a 130 peer reviewed manuscripts, book chapters, review articles, patents and 2 public releases of pennycress germplasm; nearly all relating to the development of new crops and vegetable based lubricants. Dr. Isbell has received numerous invitations to speak at international meetings and special invitations to present lectures to industry and academia. He has also served as technical program chair over two international conferences and has twice served as President of the Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops. Dr. Isbell has led three separate consortiums of researchers and industry collaborators that are commercializing new crops cuphea, lesquerella and pennycress. He also served as chair of the local American Chemical Society and he has been recognized by an international society with the 1998 Outstanding Researcher Award and technology transfer awards from the Federal Laboratory Consortium. Lastly, he was the principal director on a $7 million IFAFS grant for the development of oilseed feedstocks for the production of jet fuel in the Western U.S.