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Dr. Tim Durham

Farmer, Assistant Professor of Agronomy and Agricultural Sciences, Ferrum College

Expert Bio

Dr. Durham’s family operates a 30 acre vegetable farm on Long Island, New York – where he returns to work every summer. During the academic year, Dr. Durham teaches general biology, plant science, biotechnology, genetics, and agronomy at Ferrum College in Virginia. He is also a recently commissioned entomologist in the U.S. Army Reserve. Dr. Durham received a B.S. in Plant Sciences from Cornell University in 2001. In 2004, he received a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship to study public perception of biotechnology at Lincoln University, New Zealand. After returning stateside, he trained as a “plant M.D.” at the University of Florida. In 2006, he received a Department of Homeland Security Fellowship and was a Summer Fellow at Los Alamos National Lab, where he worked on counter-agroterrorism and crop biosecurity. Dr. Durham’s interests in biotechnology focus on comparative risk assessment, policy development, and science literacy outreach to diverse audiences.

Studies, Articles and Answers

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Q: How are we able to afford creating GMOs?

Answered By Dr. Tim Durham - May 07, 2018

A: Dollars and sense! GMO development has historically been spearheaded by private industry. Without a doubt, it’s a grueling process – costly and time consuming. The R&D pipeline broadly includes: Discovery/market assessment Brainstorming ideas Are there any genes/traits that seem promising? Any identified market needs? Cost/benefit analysis How realistic are those ideas? Businesses are risk averse and need to justify new products to stakeholders Proof of concept/transformation Can the gene/trait of interest be successfully cut and pasted into a t [...]

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