Illinois honors Syngenta biotechnology pioneer Chilton

Mary-Dell Chilton accepted the award at the University of Illinois’ Alumni Center.
Mary-Dell Chilton accepted the award at the University of Illinois’ Alumni Center. | File photo

Achieving the highest alumni honor possible from her alma mater, the University of Illinois, Syngenta science fellow and modern plant biotechnology pioneer Mary-Dell Chilton recently merited kudos for her plant research conducted in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Earning her undergraduate and doctorate degrees from Illinois in the 1960s, Chilton went on to support the next generation of plant scientists through her work at Syngenta, an agriculture company specializing in food security with unique crop solutions.

Acknowledged for her groundwork in plant genetics, Chilton has helped to achieve transformation in corn, cotton and other produce.

“The University of Illinois was the place I first became interested in plant genetics, which laid the foundation for my career,” Chilton said. “The university professors and colleagues I made here pushed me to work harder and pursue excellence in what was an emerging field at the time, and I am forever grateful for their guidance. I am incredibly honored to receive this award.”

Chilton accepted the award at the University of Illinois’ Alumni Center during the institution’s commencement weekend in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois.

“On behalf of nearly 700,000 University of Illinois alumni, we are proud to celebrate the accomplishments of incredible individuals who inspire all of us and enhance the proud legacy of the University of Illinois,” Alumni Association President Loren Taylor said. 

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