Roger N. Beachy '66
Roger N. Beachy '66, president and director of the Donald Danforth
Plant Science Center, St. Louis, Mo., spends many of his days infecting
plants with viruses to make them stronger. His research led to the
first genetically engineered food crop - a viral-resistant strand
of tomato - in 1987. Further research, leading to 10 biological
patents, has created rice and cassava crops with improved disease
resistance used in developing nations.
Beachy's commitment to teaching Christ's command to love your neighbors
and his devotion to researching sustainable food production and
agriculture led him to found the International Laboratory for Tropical
Agricultural Biotechnology where he and scientists from more than
20 developing nations have shared biotechnologies to lessen Third
After Beachy earned a doctorate degree in plant pathology from Michigan
State University in 1973, he did post-doctoral work at the University
of Arizona and Cornell University. He taught at Washington University,
St. Louis, Mo., from 1978 to 1991 and 1999 to the present, also
spending eight years heading the division of plant biology at The
Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif., in the interim.
He also was an adjunct professor of biology at Peking University
in China and the University of California. He is editor of the Journal
of Virology and won the R&D Magazine 1999 Scientist of the Year
Beachy served with Mennonite Central Committee in 1967-1968 and
has volunteered for the St. Louis Science Center, St. Louis RCGA
and the St. Louis Academy of Science.
Beachy and his wife, Teresa S. Brown Beachy '68, have two adult
children. They attend Ladue Chapel in St. Louis.