Maarten J. Chrispeels is a world-renowned expert in plant biotechnology. He is emeritus professor of biological sciences at UCSD and has been recalled by the university to teach a course in biotechnology and lead the outreach effort funded by a NSF GK12 grant. He is also the Director of the UCSD Center for Molecular Agriculture. During his 40-year career at UCSD, his laboratory published 200 plus research articles in the area of plant biochemistry, cell biology, molecular genetics and biotechnology. His research contributions resulted in his election to the US National Academy of Sciences in 1996.
With his former student David Sadava he wrote a major plant biotechnology textbook, Plants, Genes and Crop biotechnology that is being used in many countries. He holds several patents, is the co-founder of two biotechnology companies and has consulted for a number of others. For many years he has been involved in outreach about agricultural biotechnology and thousands of copies of a 16 page color brochure about crop genetic engineering have been distributed all over the world. He has lectured on plant biotechnology in many countries.