Advisory Board

Dr. Henry Daniell

The ScienceDaily article Effective, Safe Anthrax Vaccine Can Be Grown In Tobacco Plants said

Enough anthrax vaccine to inoculate everyone in the United States could be grown inexpensively and safely with only one acre of tobacco plants, a University of Central Florida molecular biologist has found.
Mice immunized with a vaccine produced in UCF professor Henry Daniell’s laboratory through the genetic engineering of tobacco plants survived lethal doses of anthrax administered later by National Institutes of Health researchers.
Daniell’s research is a breakthrough in efforts to find a safe and effective method of producing large quantities of vaccine for anthrax, one of the top bioterrorism threats facing the United States. The new production method also could help the government and health care providers avoid supply shortages, as one acre of plants can produce 360 million doses in a year.

The ScienceDaily article Insulin Grown In Plants Relieves Diabetes In Mice: Holds Promise For Humans said

Capsules of insulin produced in genetically modified lettuce could hold the key to restoring the body’s ability to produce insulin and help millions of Americans who suffer from insulin-dependent diabetes, according to University of Central Florida biomedical researchers.
Professor Henry Daniell’s research team genetically engineered tobacco plants with the insulin gene and then administered freeze-dried plant cells to five-week-old diabetic mice as a powder for eight weeks. By the end of the study, the diabetic mice had normal blood and urine sugar levels, and their cells were producing normal levels of insulin.

Henry Daniell, Ph.D., FAAAS was born and educated in India. He moved to the United States as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 1980. Since then he has served on the faculty of Washington State University, University of Idaho Auburn University and the University of Central Florida (as Pegasus Professor & Trustee Chair). His areas of_ research interest include DNA replication in chloroplast and mitochondria, identification of new genes in organelle genomes, promiscuous DNA and their evolutionary significance, maternal inheritance, transgene containment, photosynthesis (Rubisco, electron transport), chlorophyll biosynthesis, chloroplast development, in organello protein synthesis, transcription, RNA processing, RNA stability, translation, protein import, proteolysis, and regulation of these processes.
He pioneered the chloroplast genetic engineering approach in the 1980s and advanced this concept to confer useful agronomic traits (for herbicide, insect, disease resistance, drought & salt tolerance, photoremediation, cytoplasmic male sterility, etc.) and to express biomaterials (e.g. biopolymers) in transgenic plants. He has extended this technology to major crops, including cotton. Most important are his contributions to human medicine, for which he has engineered transgenic plants that produce pharmaceuticals to treat diabetes and hepatitis, as well as vaccines for anthrax, plague, cholera, and other bioterrorism agents. He is currently developing an additional arm to his technology that will enable therapeutic proteins to be administered orally, being able to deliver an effective inoculation to widespread communities.
Henry has published over 150 research articles which are cited in the scientific literature over 1,500 times. During the last five years, he has published over 40 articles from UCF, with a dozen in the top few journals in the field (Nature Biotechnology, Plant Physiology, Current Opinion in Biotechnology, and Trends in Plant Science). Nature Biotechnology, the premier biotechnology journal, featured articles of his research in 1998, 2001 and 2002. Plant Physiology featured his article on cytoplasmic male sterility on the cover in July 2005. His research has been featured in the national and international press (e.g. New York Times and Scientific American), highlighted by top scientific journals (e.g. Science and Nature), and featured by several major television networks (NBC, ABC, CBS, and CNN).
Henry has given invited talks in six continents including Australia, Asia, Africa, Europe, North America, and South America to educate the public on genetically modified crops. He delivered the prestigious Bob Buchanan Award lecture at University of California, Berkeley and the Royal Society of Medicine, London in 2002. He also gave an invited lecture at the Pasteur Institute, Paris (the first seminar from a plant biologist).
His chloroplast genetic engineering technology is protected by more than ninety U.S. and international patents. To commercialize the chloroplast technology, he founded the first Biotech company at UCF: Chlorogen, Inc. has attracted millions of dollars in investment capital from several major biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Chlorogen received the Frost & Sullivan award for the best biotech company for designing a creative solution to a pressing problem.
Henry has secured more than ten million dollars in extramural research funds and currently receives grants and contracts from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). His high level of funding has earned him the title of UCF Millionaires Club Honoree for the past two years.
He was selected as the first UCF Trustee Chair in the life sciences to become Pegasus Professor in the Burnett College of Biomedical Sciences. While on the faculty of Auburn University he received the Alumni Association and Sigma Xi Award for distinguished research career among Auburn faculty (one award among all faculty members).
Henry is the Senior Editor of the Plant Biotechnology Journal (UK) and Biotechnology Journal (Germany). He has received several Distinguished Researcher and Teaching Excellence Awards. He has served as a consultant to the United Nations in biotechnology. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, Italy in 2004, a rare honor bestowed on 14 Americans in the past 222 years. Past members from the U.S. include Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein. He became a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences in 2007.
Henry coedited Molecular Biology and Biotechnology of Plant Organelles: Chloroplasts and Mitochondria, authored Molecular strategies for gene containment in transgenic crops, and coauthored Medical molecular farming: production of antibodies, biopharmaceuticals and edible vaccines in plants, Containment of herbicide resistance through genetic engineering of the chloroplast genome, Overexpression of the Bt cry2Aa2 operon in chloroplasts leads to formation of insecticidal crystals, and Expression of the native cholera toxin B subunit gene and assembly as functional oligomers in transgenic tobacco chloroplasts. Read the full list of his publications!