, | Distinguished Ag Alumni: 1992
Dr. Summers is a Distinguished Professor of Entomology and holder of the Chair in Agricultural Biotechnology at Texas AM University. He also holds professorships in Biochemistry and Biophysics, Genetics, and Biology. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he serves as Director of the Center for Advanced Invertebrate Molecular Sciences. Dr. Summers’ career has been devoted to the study of the molecular biology of insects and insect viruses. The goal of his research is to develop a new generation of microbial pesticides that will provide safe and effective approaches for management of public health and agricultural pests. Dr. Summers and his colleagues were pioneers in gene expression research which led to novel systems for producing numerous proteins in insect cell cultures which had medical and agricultural importance. His research was the basis for the production of the first recombinant protein vaccine to receive FDA approval for clinical evaluation in the treatment of AIDS. Dr. Summers has authored over 100 research publications and has received nearly seven million dollars in research contracts and grants. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences for his contributions to science. He served as editor of the journal, Virology, and was a charter and founding member of the Society of Virology. He has received numerous awards including the J.E. Bussart Memorial Award from the Entomological Society of America; the Alumni Citation Award for Outstanding Achievement in Research, Scholarship and Teaching from Wilmington College; the Faculty Distinguished Achievement Award in Research from Texas AM University; and the John V. Osmun Professional Achievement Award in Entomology from Purdue University.