Bob is a native of El Centro, California, a farming community located in the Imperial Valley of southern California. He obtained his B.S. degree from the University of California Davis Campus in 1960 and went on to graduate school at the University of Wisconsin, Madison where he obtained both a M.S. and PhD degree in Entomology in 1962 and 1964, respectively. Bob joined the faculty of the Boyce Thompson Institute in Yonkers, NY in 1964 and remained at the Institute until he retired on December 31, 2002. His research career focused on the in vitro biology of insect cells and microbial control of insect pests. He published over 135 research papers, and co-edited three books in baculovirology and insect cell culture. He holds over 40 worldwide patents for his discoveries of insect virus pathogenicity genes and novel insect cell lines. His pioneering research in insect cell culture resulted in the development of novel cell lines that proved exceptional as biotechnological tools for high expression of recombinant proteins useful in agriculture and medicine. This patented technology has been recognized worldwide and has been licensed to several companies. Other work involved the discovery of novel insect virus genes that have been patented and used to develop recombinant viruses with enhanced insect pesticidal activity, or have been engineered to make insect tolerant plants.
Bob also served the Institute as Director of the Plant Protection Program for 20 years. He received numerous honors during his career including: Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Novartis National Recognition Award in Entomology, Fellow of the Academy of Microbiology, Fellow of the Society for In Vitro Biology, Fellow of the Entomological Society of America and President of the Society of Invertebrate Pathology. Bob was appointed to the Charles E. Palm Scientist Endowed Chair of BTI in 1992. He also holds a position as adjunct Professor of Entomology at Cornell University. He is currently consulting with the Institute as a Biotechnology Licensing and Marketing Associate in the Intellectual Property office. Bob and his wife Johanna reside in Ithaca, NY.