1. Why did you decide to work at Applied DNA?

The idea of providing biotechnology based solutions for supply chain security, brand protection, and law enforcement applications in the US and worldwide strongly appealed to me.

Applied DNA is innovative company. They are leaders in automation and scale-up of PCR-based DNA analysis for the textile and other industries and in providing technical support for DNA-based programs in targeted industrial and medical opportunities. These efforts are a natural extension of the work I had been doing in my previous positions.

2. What would you say is the impact of Applied DNA's molecular tagging process for agricultural products like cotton, soybeans etc?

Our SigNature molecular tags are unique, traceable to each customer, product, or source, and custom-designed to be compatible and stable in a wide range of textile substrates and manufacturing processes.

Applied DNA’s molecular tags provide a secure, scalable and cost-effective way to assure quality of agricultural products, offering forensic-level authentication at any point in the supply chain, from farm to finished goods.

3. Are there other interesting tagging applications in agricultural goods?

We are known for our tagging applications in cotton fiber which can readily be tracked by tagging with our molecular tags at the gin using our patented and proprietary DNA Transfer System. Agricultural chemicals and fertilizer can also be tagged for authenticity and traceability. Other possible applications could be tagging imported coffee and cocoa, from pods to beans to final product, to provide traceability and prevent diversion or substitution of inferior materials.

About Dr. Stephen Hughes

Dr. Hughes has more than 20 years experience working with engineers and scientists at universities, industries, and government institutions to implement molecular biology techniques, develop improved genes and cell lines, create novel vectors for expressing genes and DNA constructs, provide support for screening synthetic genes, and assist in designing integrated automated platforms for these operations. Most recently, Dr. Hughes built the first-in-kind integrated robotic platform to perform high-throughput cloning, transformation, expression and assay operations for screening synthetic genes to use in improving industrial yeast strains for bioenergy production. He created innovative efficient high-throughput microbial gene expression systems combined with novel gene/chromosome synthesis approaches for automated platforms to create improved microbial strains. These projects all required an in-depth knowledge of DNA technology. Dr. Hughes has a doctoral degree in molecular genetics, biochemistry, and microbiology, with an undergraduate degree in molecular biology and genetics.