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The Life, Legacy, And Science of "Queen of Agrobacterium" Mary-Dell Chilton

Mary-Dell Chilton is a pioneer in the field of agricultural biotechnology. As a young scientist at Washington University, she led the team of researchers that produced the first genetically-modified plant. Chilton moved to North Carolina in the early 1980s to begin her corporate career and has continued to conduct research that shapes the agricultural production of corn, cotton, and other crops. Chilton has authored more than 100 scientific publications and was awarded the World Food Prize in 2013. She will also be inducted into theNational Inventors Hall of Fame later this year.

At the age of 76, she still spends most of her time in the laboratory at Syngenta, where she serves as the principal scientist, but her other passions include John Grisham novels, shopping, and spending time outdoors with her family. 

Host Frank Stasio talks to Mary-Dell Chilton about her life, legacy and science.

Watch Mary-Dell Chilton's World Food Prize acceptance speech:

Anita Rao is an award-winning journalist, host, creator, and executive editor of "Embodied," a weekly radio show and podcast about sex, relationships & health.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.