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Neal Stewart

Professor and Director
University of Tennessee

At the University of Tennessee, Neal Stewart holds the Ivan Racheff Chair of Plant Molecular Genetics and is also the co-director of the recently founded Center for Agricultural Synthetic Biology as well as the co-director of the Tennessee Plant Research Center. He took a PhD from Virginia Tech in 1993 and after stints in Georgia and North Carolina, he moved to Tennessee in 2002. Neal Stewart has been an innovator in plant biotechnology and one of the pioneers of plant synthetic biology. Multidisciplinary research and applications range from agricultural sustainability, to energy, and most recently, to repurposing plants as environmental sensors, in which he leads a $7.5 M DARPA project. He has been an author on over 300 peer-reviewed journal articles and 8 books. Stewart was a member of the National Academies committee that produced the 2016 report “Genetically Engineered Crops: Experiences and Prospects.” In 2015 he was elected as Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). In 2019 he was elected as a Fellow of the Society for in Vitro Biology. In his free time he is a singer-songwriter (songs are here: