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DuPont Pioneer Scientist Named Iowa Inventor of the Year

October 13, 2008

The Iowa Intellectual Property Law Association has named Marc Albertsen, a scientist at DuPont business Pioneer Hi-Bred, as its 2008 Inventor of the Year.

The award is given to an Iowa inventor who has made the most outstanding contribution to Iowa through his or her invention.

Albertsen invented a process to simplify the development of hybrid seed by creating a process to turn off the production of pollen in certain parental lines of corn. The invention has paved the way to new seed production technologies that have the potential to revolutionize the way hybrid seed is produced by the industry. His invention was patented in the United States in 1999, adding to the more than 30 patents he has been granted during his professional career.

"This award exemplifies the dedicated, passionate approach Marc Albertsen takes to the scientific discovery work he tackles every day to improve seed production technology," said William S. Niebur, vice president -- DuPont Crop Genetics Research and Development. "I congratulate him for his important contributions to Pioneer and the seed industry."

Albertsen received a bachelor's degree in botany and a master's degree in plant breeding and cytogenetics from Iowa State University, and a doctorate in plant breeding and genetics from the University of Minnesota. He joined Pioneer in 1981 as a research manager and today oversees a department focused on research to improve the performance and value of crop plants.

In addition, Albertsen is a retired colonel with the U.S. Air Force Reserves and performed his duties as an intelligence analyst while also fulfilling his duties as a research scientist. He was called to active duty to command an Intelligence Reserve Detachment to support Desert Shield/Desert Storm and Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. He continued with the Reserves through his original military retirement date, juggling his duties by working nights and weekends, and eventually retired in 2002.