Dr. Albert Kausch is a Professor at the University of Rhode Island in the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology with a research focus on molecular improvement and gene discovery in plants. His major educational interests have concentrated on the development of science curricula for teaching general biological sciences biotechnology and agriculture.
After completing a Master’s and Ph.D. in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at Iowa State University, Dr. Kausch accepted an NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship at The Rockefeller University in New York working in the laboratory of Dr. Anthony Cashmore on early gene transfer methods to plants and chloroplast protein transport. People often comment that “he did not make the first transgenic plant…but perhaps he made the fifth.”
Dr. Kausch did his postdoctoral work in collaboration with Dr. Marc van Montague’s laboratory in Ghent, Belgium, where they conducted seminal research on plant transformation and chloroplast protein targeting in transgenic plants. That work resulted in several landmark publications and four international patents. This technology is now utilized in all commercial varieties of Round up Ready plants, which includes transgenic maize and over ninety percent of last year’s US soybean crop.
He then joined the plant molecular biology group with Pfizer DeKalb Genetics Corp. Inc., to work on gene transfer technologies for genetic engineering of corn. During that time, Dr. Kausch worked with a team that developed the first published results of genetically modified corn plants. He has directed diverse research areas in agricultural biotechnology on corn, rice, sorghum, switchgrass, alfalfa and other crop plants for traits including herbicide and insect resistance, drought tolerance and yield stability, nutritional improvement, gene regulation, transformation technology development, site specific recombination systems (and a range of other projects).
Albert Kausch has over thirty years of experience in commercial and academic research in agricultural biotechnology. His broad industry experience includes startup company development, consulting, management, research, expert witness, intellectual property rights and patents, licensing, regulatory affairs, marketing and public perception. He maintains several active research collaborations world wide on genetic modification, breeding, genomics and gene editing of crop plants.
Dr. Kausch has extensive academic experience including several concurrent positions. He has taught at Mount Holyoke College, the University of New Hampshire, the University of Connecticut, Connecticut College, and the University of Rhode Island, where he currently teaches. Dr. Kausch has developed a unique course covering the many diverse fields of biotechnology for a general audience. His course is one of the most popular courses on campus and he even enjoys top ratings from the students on ratemyprofessors.com (4.6).
This general education course for undergraduates is titled Issues in Biotechnology: The Way We Work With Life and has enrolled over 700 student per semester. He has been affiliated with URI for over 25 years.
Dr. Kausch’s research program has been highly successful. During his appointment at the University of Rhode Island, Dr. Kausch has received over $32 million in support from federal grants (DOE, USDA, NSF, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation). Dr. Kausch has also received funding for his research from Industry sources (Amgen, Pfizer, HybriGene, John Deere, Scotts Co., HybriGene, Delta Pine and Land Co., Monsanto Co., EPIC Wisconsin Inc., Bayer Crop Science, and Tee Green Corp.).
Dr. Kausch has collaborated with many scientists in his field from many institutions including (currently) Yale Univ., Stanford Univ., Univ. of Calif. Berkley, MIT, Univ. of Minnesota, Washington State Univ., Univ. of Illinois, Univ. of Wisconsin Madison, and Iowa State University. He is currently serving as a Consultant and Scientific Advisor for various Agricultural Venture Capital firms, Biotechnology companies and Law firms.
Dr. Kausch has been involved with the development of seven agricultural biotechnology startup companies and an educational nonprofit organization that are related to his work. For example, Dr. Kausch developed a new variety of garlic through conventional breeding which grows like a scallion but is a garlic variety, consumed as a green vegetable with one quarter the strength of clove garlic, as a new vegetable called ‘Baby Green Garlic’. This variety was selected from wild germplasm and is now being developed commercially as a new vegetable. He received four issued patents and launched a new company called Ophios. The Green Garlic product remains open for development. This is only one of many projects in the queue.
As Director of the Plant Biotechnology Lab at the University of Rhode Island, Dr. Kausch has formed many collaborations with molecular biologists in industry, academics and government. The Plant Biotechnology Lab is fully equipped for plant transgenic technology applications and molecular biology and is available to provide the necessary laboratory facilities required for the program. The lab comprises more than 5700 sq ft of research and teaching laboratory space that is fully equipped for plant transgenics, gene editing, and molecular biology. He has mentored and trained scores of interns in his laboratory over the past two decades.
Dr. Kausch developed a highly influential General Education undergraduate course for majors and non majors titled Issues in Biotechnology 190. This has been a very popular course at the University of Rhode Island over the past fifteen years, enrolling over 700 students per semester, and has been introduced into High schools and Nursing programs for College Credit through the University of Rhode Island.
Dr. Kausch has recently (as of April, 2021) produced four complete University level courses that are ready for immediate and broad dissemination, enrollment and offering including Issues in Biotechnology; Understanding COVID 19: Biology and Issues; Agriculture and Biotechnology; and CEA Controlled Environment Agriculture and The Future of Food. Dr. Kausch is the sole author and creator with all copyright, trademark, IP and NFT rights Exclusively Reserved. He is currently pursing Advanced Platforms for eLearning including the synergistic use of advanced AI, VR and AR technologies and programming for educational learning platforms.
Albert Kausch is Founder and President of The New England Biophilia Institute (NEBI). The New England Biophilia Institute has developed three areas:
- The production and distribution of materials supporting OMO AR Driven science education at all levels, particularly with a biophilia thematic orientation
- Consulting, specializing in all areas of agriculture and innovative online science education
- Maintenance of a close relationship with the nonprofit Biophilia 501(c)(3), formerly known as Lifeedu, since 2003.
The first two areas constitute the for-profit space of the Institute.
Dr. Albert Kausch lives in Charlestown, Rhode Island.