CBS Affiliate WTVR Channel Six News Feature (includes video):
February 14, 2017
Fayetteville State University has entered into a partnership agreement with INGATEYGEN (IGG), LLC. The agreement targets the expanding research, education, and innovation productivity in the Department of Biological Sciences at Fayetteville State University.
IGG is an agriculture biotech company that is developing a Hypoallergenic Peanut(HAP) plant, while providing many other services to industry, including: (1) nutritional composition labeling, (2) Non-allergens and Non-GMO labeling, (3) testing for pesticides, fertilizers and other agrochemicals, and (4) testing for plant tissues, soil and water quality. In recent years, FSU has aspired to develop strong STEM programs, build an innovative culture, promote innovative thinking, and promote economic development in Fayetteville and in southeastern North Carolina. Thus, the collaboration between the two entities has the potential to provide many new educational and economic benefits.
According to Dr. Jon Young, Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, “This partnership is an important step forward for FSU. It will support FSU’s strategic plan by building partnerships with industries and the local community, increasing intellectual properties, and supporting the expansion of student services.”
Dr. Daryush ILA, Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Technology Transfer at FSU, was the initiator of the agreement. Dr. ILA stated, “This industry and university partnership is a great step in the right direction and it could not have been accomplished without the full support of Dr. Young, Provost, Dr. Abdelmajid Kassem, chair of the FSU Department of Biology, and Dr. Hortense Dodo, President & CEO of IGG.”
IGG owns the patents for the process that produces allergen-free peanuts, and has plans to expand the process to address other allergy producing foods and plants as part of its partnership with the researchers at Fayetteville State University.
Dr. Dodo is an African American scientific entrepreneur, and an inventor. She is also a molecular biologist, and a university professor. Dr. Dodo developed a patented technology to eliminate allergens from peanuts, one of the most severe and deadly food allergies. In the U.S., approximately four million people report allergies to peanuts and tree nuts. Studies show the number of children living with peanut allergy appears to have tripled between 1997 and 2008, according to FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education). About $25 billion dollars are spent on food allergies in the U.S. alone with peanut allergies being a common and most severe food allergy. Unfortunately, so far there is no cure for peanut allergies, but thanks to Dr. Dodo’s work, there may be a solution on the market soon.