Charles Arntzen

Faculty Member
Biodesign Center for Immunotherapy, Vaccines, and Virotherapy
Retired Faculty or Staff
Biodesign Center for Immunotherapy, Vaccines, and Virotherapy
Emeritus Professor
Emeritus College
Emeritus Professor
Biodesign Center for Immunotherapy, Vaccines, and Virotherapy
Contact Information
(480) 225-9412


  • Ph.D. Cell Physiology, Purdue University 1970
  • M.S. Plant Physiology, University of Minnesota 1967
  • B.S. Plant Physiology, University of Minnesota 1965



Charles J. Arntzen
Regents' Professor and Florence Ely Nelson Presidential Chair
The Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University

In 2000 Dr. Arntzen was appointed to the Florence Ely Nelson Presidential Endowed Chair at ASU, and as the Founding Director of the Biodesign Institute in 2001.   Prior to joining ASU, Dr. Arntzen served as President and CEO of Boyce Thompson Institute -- a not-for-profit corporation affiliated with Cornell University.  Earlier administrative experience included service as Director of Research at the Dupont Company, and Deputy Chancellor in the Texas A&M University System.

Dr. Arntzen is an elected member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Inventors. He received the USDA Award for Superior Service, and served as chairman of the National Biotechnology Policy Board of the National Institutes of Health. From 2001-2009 he served as a member of President George W. Bush’s Council of Advisors on Science & Technology.

Dr. Arntzen's primary research interests have been in plant molecular biology and protein engineering, as well as the utilization of plant biotechnology for enhancement of food quality and value, for expression of pharmacologically active products in transgenic plants, and for overcoming health and agricultural constraints in the developing world. He has been recognized as a pioneer in the development of plant-based vaccines for human disease prevention (with special emphasis on needs of poor countries) and for disease prevention in animal agriculture. Since 2001 this research has been extended to creation of effective vaccines and therapeutics to reduce the threats of biowarfare agents.

Dr. Arntzen has been on the Board of Directors of DeKalb Genetics, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Advanced BioNutrition, Inc. and on the Scientific Advisory Board of Protalix, Inc.   Fast Magazine chose him as the Most Creative Person in Business in 2015 for his work on fighting Ebola with tobacco.