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ARS Science Hall of Fame
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ARS Science Hall of Fame represent a very special group of scientists—the best of the best.

Each member of the ARS Hall of Fame has produced a major impact on agricultural research by solving a significant agricultural problem through research or providing outstanding leadership that significantly advanced agricultural research.   Each member has made accomplishments that continue to be recognized by the agricultural research community and possess the character and record of achievement worthy of emulation by younger agricultural scientists.  They have made achievements that were nationally or internationally recognized by peers in the scientific community.

NCAUR Researchers Inducted into the ARS Hall of Fame

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George F. Fanta - Inducted 2023

George F. Fanta, a research chemist at the ARS National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research's Plant Polymer Research unit in Peoria, Illinois, Fanta led the development of industrial and consumer-health products derived from agricultural commodities, particularly corn starch and wheat flour. Fanta's scientific creativity also extended to adopting existing procedures to create new biobased products. Most notably, he developed cost-effective steam-jet cooking methods used to create a variety of new and useful functional food properties.

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Terry A IsBell - Inducted 2022

Terry Isbell, a retired chemist from the ARS National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research's Bio-Oils Research unit in Peoria, Illinois, is being recognized for his leadership in the conception, design and execution of research to develop an array of products derived from crop commodities such as vegetable oil rather than nonrenewable sources such as petroleum. In particular, Isbell's research set the stage for the commercialization of estolides, a class of bio-synthetic oils with numerous uses in lubricant, automotive, marine and personal-care applications.

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Kerry L. O’Donnell - Inducted 2019

Kerry L. O’Donnell, a microbiologist at the ARS Mycotoxin Prevention and Applied Microbiology Research Unit in Peoria, Illinois, is internationally recognized for innovative research that helped revolutionize the field of fungal systematics and fundamentally changed how fungi are detected, identified and classified according to their relationships. O’Donnell’s pioneering research using DNA sequencing technologies helped usher in a new era of molecular analyses of fungal species diversity and their evolutionary histories. His discovery that the genus Fusarium comprises more than 300 phylogenetically distinct species—far greater than previously thought—made him a leading authority on this large and important group of molds, many of which produce chemicals called mycotoxins that are harmful to humans and other animals.

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Cletus P. Kurtzman - Inducted 2016

Cletus P. Kurtzman is world renowned for his pioneering development and use of molecular biology techniques to identify and describe microorganisms of agricultural, biotechnological, scientific, and medical importance. His research fundamentally changed the field of yeast taxonomy and gave rise to new, improved methods of studying the genetic diversity of these microorganisms and determining the relationships among species. Kurtzman identified gene sequences enabling researchers worldwide to rapidly and accurately distinguish one yeast species from another. He led in the development of a comprehensive database and barcode-based system of sequence information to facilitate the diagnosis of all known yeasts species in the Ascomycetes fungal division. His genetic diversity research also ushered in better predictions on the biological properties of newly discovered yeast species. Kurtzman’s own discovery of yeasts capable of fermenting simple plant sugars is credited with reviving industry efforts to convert crop biomass materials, like corn bran, into ethanol fuel.

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Edward B. Bagley - Inducted 2003    

Edward B. Bagley contributed foundational research to the science of rheology, the study of flow and deformation of matter. He is best known for his role in developing the starch-based copolymer Super Slurper. Super Slurper can absorb up to 2,000 times its own weight in water. The product has become part of a wide variety of products including baby powders, diapers, batteries, and fuel filters. Bagley, now retired, was a research leader at ARS' NationalCenter for Agricultural Utilization Research in Peoria, Illinois.  


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George Inglett - Inducted 2002     

George Inglett is one of the foremost international experts in food science and technology. He developed Oatrim, Z-Trim, Nutrim, Soytrim--derivatives from oats, barley, and soy--as fat replacements that provide a fraction of fats' calories to consumers, but still taste good. These products offer many nutritional benefits to consumers. Inglett is a research chemist at ARS' NationalCenter for Agricultural Utilization Research in Peoria, Illinois.  


/ARSUserFiles/50100500/New-2018/hall of fame/45x-jeanes.jpg Allene R. Jeanes - Inducted 1999 

Allene R. Jeanes was posthumously inducted into the ARS Science Hall of Fame for her microbiological, chemical, and engineering research contributions that created urgently needed, life-saving industrial polymers made from agricultural commodities. She and a colleague proposed a project for producing dextran and converting it into synthetic blood plasma. The fluid that resulted from her team's efforts was used on the battlefields of Korea and Vietnam to save countless lives. She worked as a research chemist with ARS' NationalCenter for Agricultural Utilization Research in Peoria, Illinois.

/ARSUserFiles/50100500/New-2018/hall of fame/38x-dutton.jpg Herbert J. Dutton- Inducted 1996     

Herbert J. Dutton retired as chief of ARS' Oilseeds Crops Laboratory in Peoria, Illinois. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame for research that lead to the establishment of soybean oil as the predominant edible vegetable oil in the world. Largely as a result of his research contributions, soybean oil commands 85 percent of the domestic fats and oils market. His research continues to have an impact on soybean research.

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William M. Doane - Inducted 1995     

William M. Doane served as a research leader of the ARS Plant Polymer Research Unit in Peoria, Illinois before retiring. He initiated and conducted research that created new and useful products that ultimately led to the establishment of new industries based on agricultural materials. He initiated a research program that led to discovery and development of Super Slurper, a highly absorbent starch graft polymer. Today, Doane's polymer can be found in many products, including seed coatings, wound dressing and disposable soft goods.