Daniel F Voytas

Professor and Director, Center for Precision Plant Genomics

1988 …2020

Research activity per year

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Personal profile

Professional Information

Dr. Dan Voytas is a Professor in the Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development and the Director of the Center for Precision Plant Genomics at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Voytas graduated from Harvard College in 1984 and received his Ph.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1990. He conducted postdoctoral research at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine where he was a fellow of the Life Science Research Foundation. Prior to joining the University of Minnesota, Dr. Voytas was a professor at Iowa State University (1992-2008).  Dr. Voytas is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Specializing in molecular biology and genetics, Dr. Voytas’ research focuses on genome modification using nucleases that recognize specific DNA sequences. In 2005, he co-founded the Zinc Finger Consortium, a group of academic scientists focused on creating open-source platforms for engineering zinc finger nucleases for targeted mutagenesis.  More recently, his laboratory developed a superior class of sequence-specific nucleases – Transcription Activator-Like Effector Nucleases (TALENs) – which was heralded by Science magazine as one of the top ten scientific breakthroughs of 2012.  Dr. Voytas’ lab is currently optimizing methods for efficiently making targeted genome modifications in a variety of plant species to advance basic biology and develop new crop varieties.

In addition to his position at the University of Minnesota, Dr. Voytas advises agricultural biotechnology companies on the use of new methods of genome engineering for crop improvement and serves as the Chair of the Science Advisory Board for Calyxt. 

Expertise related to UN SDGs

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger

External Positions

Chair of the Science Advisory Board, Calyxt

Research Interest Keywords

  • Genetics
  • Molecular biology
  • TALENs
  • CRISPR/Cas9
  • Zinc Finger Consortium

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