Distinguished professor of biotechnology lends instant credibility to new degree program

Students who choose to pursue Kennesaw State University’s new bachelor of science degree in biotechnology will be taking part in one of the most innovative programs in the state. At the same time‚ they will have the opportunity to work with one of the foremost researchers in the field.

Georgia (Jul 14, 2003) — Students who choose to pursue Kennesaw State University’s new bachelor of science degree in biotechnology will be taking part in one of the most innovative programs in the state. At the same time‚ they will have the opportunity to work with one of the foremost researchers in the field.

Dr. Jesse Jaynes‚ a biochemist with more than 20 years of research experience‚ is returning to higher education after a decade in the business sector to serve as the Neel Distinguished Professor of Biotechnology. The Neel Distinguished Chair is a new faculty position within the College of Science and Mathematics made possible by a $500‚000 gift from university benefactor Holmes Neel.

Jaynes‚ a tenured faculty member at Louisiana State University before his 10−year stint as vice president for research at a biotechnology firm he founded‚ emerged as the top choice for the professorship following an international search conducted in the months after the gift was announced. His arrival lends instant credibility to the program‚ the first of its kind in Georgia.

“Dr. Jaynes is a low−key individual; he’s very humble‚” explained Dr. Larry Peterson‚ dean of the College of Science and Mathematics. “He’s very easy to talk with. He has a track record of a large number of collaborations with university faculty throughout the United States and throughout the world. He’s extremely productive.”

In addition to the leadership he is expected to provide for the biotechnology program‚ Jaynes will also head up the Center for Applied Biotechnology‚ another new initiative that is aimed at attracting external funding from government and industry‚ while at the same time providing an opportunity for faculty members and students to conduct applied and collaborative research within their field.

“I believe that one of my greatest strengths is my facility to generate useful and testable ideas‚” Jaynes said in his bio. “I also have the ability to collaborate and provide new ways to approach a particular problem. During my career‚ I have had the opportunity and pleasure to work with a number of gifted scientists and have learned a great deal from them. In fact‚ I think this interaction with colleagues is one of the most enjoyable aspects of doing research.”

Jaynes’ work has resulted in numerous patents‚ both domestically and around the world. As Peterson explained it‚ Jaynes’ research has an “extremely broad base” of applied interests.

“It’s going to cut across a number of different fields‚ all the way from chemotherapy to possible drugs for HIV control‚ from antibiotic treatment for burns to genetic improvement of trees and crops‚” the dean said. “He has a rich array of areas that he’s involved in‚ and what we hope to do is leverage those areas and build a number of collaborations and interactions‚ both with companies here in Georgia and internationally.”

Peterson is excited about prospects for the new biotechnology program‚ which has an applied focus that mirrors other degree options within the College of Science and Mathematics.

“The biotechnology degree program gives the college an entirely new area for students to pursue their education and open doors to professional schools‚ to graduate schools and‚ most importantly‚ to Georgia’s rapidly emerging biotechnology and biomedical industries‚” the dean said. “We want our degree programs to provide our students with the maximum number of career options possible.”





A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 35,000 students. With 13 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status, and one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.

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