Purdue pest research receives unique patent gift
Photo by Tom Campbell
Pest scientists Abdul
Ameen (right) and Gary Bennett examine cockroaches in a laboratory
structure designed to mimic conditions in an American kitchen.
By Steve Tally
It's a gift of potential, which could turn out to be
one of the largest gifts in Purdue's history.
DuPont has donated more than 30 U.S. and foreign patents
for two agricultural insecticides to the Purdue Research Foundation.
Gary Bennett, professor of entomology and director of
Purdue's Center for Urban and Industrial Pest Management, and entomology
research associate Abdul Ameen, will investigate these compounds to
determine if they are effective against pests such as ticks, fleas,
ants, cockroaches, mosquitoes, or other household or garden pests.
"Although these insecticides were developed for
agricultural pests, because of the way they function, they show great
promise to control more familiar household pests," Bennett said.
"I'm confident that we will discover new uses for this technology."
Purdue President Martin C. Jischke added: "The Purdue
Center for Urban and Industrial Pest Management is a national leader
in the ability to screen promising insecticides for new markets. Dr.
Bennett excels in this type of research."
The full value for the patent portfolios cannot yet be
accurately assessed because future uses of the products have yet to
be determined. However, Bennett said DuPont has made significant investments
in these two products during their initial development, in tests of
their safety and effectiveness, and in preparing the U.S. and international
The donation marks the first time Purdue has received
such a gift. In addition to the patent rights, Purdue also is receiving
toxicology and field data.
Although this is the first patent gift to Purdue, DuPont
and its subsidiary companies, such as Pioneer Hi-Bred International
Inc., have funded many Purdue research projects.
The two compounds one of which was designed to
control beetles and the other to control mites were found to
be safe and effective against agricultural pests. But DuPont determined
that the compounds were no longer a part of its strategic business direction,
said Thomas Woods, the company's director of intellectual assets management.
Rather than entomb the research in a file cabinet, DuPont
decided to make the technology available so that it could benefit Purdue
and the public.
Since DuPont first began giving technology donations
in 1998, it has contributed more than two dozen gifts to more than 20
research institutions, Woods said.
"In every case where DuPont makes technology donations,
we look for world-class research programs where our technology would
be a natural fit," Woods said. "Professor Bennett is a renowned
technical champion in urban pest control, so Purdue immediately came
"The gift not only recognizes the exceptional quality
of Professor Bennett's research, but also provides an opportunity to
build upon and strengthen the already strong technical relationship
between Purdue and DuPont."
The Purdue Research Foundation plans to license the compounds
to companies that can serve both agricultural and household markets.
Contact Bennett at: email@example.com