VAN MONTAGU, Marc (baron)

Bachelor of Science, PhD Organic Chemistry/Biochemistry, emeritus professor, voorzitter "Institute Plant Biotechnology for Developing Countries" (IPBO), departement „Plant Biotechnology and Genetics”, Universiteit Gent.
Wetenschap- en technologietransfer naar ontwikkelingslanden, planten moleculaire genetica; wereldwijd

Em. Professor Marc Van Montagu holds a BA in Chemistry and PhD in in Organic Chemistry/ Biochemistry from Ghent University. Currently he is Chairman of IPBO-VIB (International Plant Biotechnology Outreach - Flemish Institute of Biotechnology) at Ghent University, and President of the Public Research and Regulation Initiative (PRRI).

Marc Van Montagu is a pioneer in plant molecular biology. He is well known (with J. Schell) for the discovery of the Ti-plasmid and the invention of Agrobacterium tumefaciens gene transfer technology, now used worldwide to produce bioengineered crops. He was Director of the Department of Genetics, Ghent University - VIB (1979-1999). His lab has spearheaded the use of gene transfer technology to study gene regulation and uncover the molecular basis of several plant physiological processes. He has made pioneering contributions to plant gene discovery and regulation, plant molecular mechanisms of response to abiotic stresses, and plant development.

Marc Van Montagu was a founding member and member of the board of directors of two Belgian biotechnology companies, Plant Genetic System (PGS) and CropDesign, both spin-off of his laboratory at Ghent University. At PGS, he pioneered cutting-edge innovations for biotech agriculture, such as plants that are resistant to insects or tolerant to more environmentally friendly herbicides. In 2000, he created the IPBO - International Plant Biotechnology Outreach, with a focus on biotechnology solutions for sustainable global agriculture.

Marc Van Montagu has received numerous prestigious awards and honours, in particular the Japan Prize for Biotechnology and Agriculture Sciences in 1998, and the World Food Prize in 2013. He is member of 11 academies of sciences/agriculture worldwide and recipient of 9 honorary doctorate degrees. He was President of the European Federation of Biotechnologists from 2005 to 2013 and has been appointed UNIDO Goodwill Ambassador for sustainable agroindustry development in Low Income Countries since 2014. Due to his accomplishments, he received in 1990 the title of Baron from the King of Belgians.

Key Publications

Zaenen, I., Van Larebeke, N., Teuchy, H., Van Montagu, M. and Schell, J., (1974), Supercoiled circular DNA in crown-gall inducing Agrobacterium strains. J.Mol.Biol. 86: 109-127

Hernalsteens, J.P., Van Vliet, F., De Beuckeleer, M., Depicker, A., Engler, G., Lemmers, M., Holsters, M., Van Montagu, M., and Schell, J. (1980). The Agrobacterium tumefaciens Ti plasmid as a host vector system for introducing foreign DNA in plant cells. Nature 287: 654-656

Herrera-Estrella, L., Depicker, A. Van Montagu,M., Schell, J., (1983), Expression of chimaeric genes transferred into plant-cells using a Ti-plasmid-derived vector. Nature 303: 209-213

Valvekens, D., Van Montagu, M., Van Lijsebettens, M. (1988) Agrobacterium tumefaciens‑mediated transformation of Arabidopsis thaliana root explants by using kanamycin selection. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 85, 5536‑5540

Vaeck, M., Reynaerts, A., Höfte, H., Jansens, S., De Beuckeleer, M., Dean, C., Zabeau, M., Van Montagu, M., And Leemans, J. (1987). Transgenic plants protected from insect attack. Nature 328, 33‑37.


Complete list of publication

Academic Bibliography UGent