Technology Transfer

Technology Transfer

The mission of BTI’s Technology Transfer Office is to identify basic research results that can be applied to commercial or humanitarian goals:

  • To improve agriculture
  • To enhance human health
  • To protect the environment

BTI researchers make fundamental discoveries in plant biology; discoveries with commercial potential are submitted for patent protection. By reaching out to scientists in industry, we identify opportunities for licensing, collaborative research, or consulting.


New Business Development

Along with traditional technology and commercial partnering projects, another aspect of our strategic plan is focused specifically on technology development through starting new companies based on BTI technology.

BTI’s Research Advances Cancer Prevention

While studying insects viruses at the Boyce Thompson Institute, Dr. Robert Granados developed an insect cell line (BTI-TN5B1) that he named High-Five™. High Five™ cells are excellent for expressing recombinant proteins and are used by GlaxoSmithKline to produce the Cervarix™ vaccine, which protects patients against the HPV virus. Today, you can find the High-Five™ cell line in the ThermoFisher Scientific catalog.

Discoveries Making an Impact

Seminal BTI discoveries include:

  • Vaccine and other protein production in insect cell lines
  • Natural small molecules in plant and human health
  • Plant disease resistance
  • Plant and bacterial proteins in innate and effector-triggered immunity
  • Salicylic acid pathway for systemic acquired resistance
  • Plant insect resistance—plant genes and small signaling molecules
  • Plant-based vaccines


Collaborations and Consulting

The expertise of BTI scientists includes such diverse areas as plant disease and insect resistance; fundamentals of photosynthesis and abiotic stress tolerance; and genome-scale capabilities, including DNA and RNA sequencing, bioinformatics, small molecule chemistry, and functional proteomics. In addition, we have expertise in plant transformation and insect cell culture.


Headshot of Paul Debbie

Paul Debbie

Director of Research, Director of New Business Development

Headshot of Julien Fey

Julien Fey

Director of Technology Transfer


Headshot of Kelli Monce

Kelli Monce

Technology Transfer Specialist



Boyce Thompson Institute
533 Tower Rd.
Ithaca, NY 14853