Dr. Blake Bextine joined the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in March 2016. He is interested in a diversity of approaches that address issues facing Agricultural Biotechnology and Biosecurity, including nucleic acid-based anti-pathogen/anti-pest strategies, insect and plant transformation strategies for rapid trait selection, and innovative approaches for altering insect behaviors.
Dr. Bextine came to DARPA from the University of Texas at Tyler where he was a Professor of Biology and Assistant Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer. During this time his molecular biology laboratory became internationally recognized for work done in the area of agricultural entomology and plant pathology.
Prior to his arrival at UT Tyler, Dr. Bextine was a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Entomology at the University of California, Riverside. He holds a Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University, M.S. in Entomology from Texas Tech University, and a B.A. in Biology from the University of Northern Iowa. He is a University of Texas System Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award Winner and has also won the UT Tyler President’s Scholarly Achievement Award, White Fellowship for Teaching Excellence Award, and multiple UT Tyler Researcher of the Year Awards. Dr. Bextine was awarded the 2014 USDA Partnership Award along with other members of the Zebra Chip Research group. In 2014, he appeared on the Discovery Channel Television Show “Tethered”.