Rutgers logo
University Academic Affairs

Rutgers Innovators Receive Edison Patent Awards in Agriculture, Forensic Science Categories

Andy Wyenandt, Jim Simon, Desmond Lun, and Catherine Grgicak
Left to right, Andy Wyenandt, Jim Simon, Desmond Lun, and Catherine Grgicak

November 15, 2023

Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences Distinguished Professor Jim Simon, PhD, and Extension Specialist Andy Wyenandt, PhD, received the Agriculture award for "Downy Mildew Resistant/Tolerant Sweet Basil Varieties" patent (U.S. 10,159,212). Simon and Wyenandt used innovative and traditional plant breeding technologies to identify particular genes in basil that they later used to breed disease- and climate-resistant varieties. Certain varieties, including Rutgers Devotion DMR (downy mildew resistant), Rutgers Obsession DMR, and Rutgers Passion DMR, were each bred to withstand the deadly pathogen BDM (basil downy mildew).

A team from Rutgers-Camden, led by Henry Rutgers Chair and Associate Professor of Chemistry Catherine Grgicak, PhD and Professor of Computer Science Desmond Lun, PhD and featuring NEC Professor of Software Science and Engineering at MIT Muriel Medard, MS, ScD, and Rutgers Camden PhD recipient Harish Swaminathan, received the Forensic Science award for “Systems and Methods for Determining an Unknown Characteristic of a Sample” patent (U.S. 10,504,614). Their technology, called NOCit, more accurately and fully identifies the number of contributors (NoC) in a DNA mixture than any existing method.

Read More