Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research (BTI) Cornell Research Program, Unit, or Center uri icon

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William Boyce Thompson founded BTI in 1924 on the premise that basic plant research leads to real benefits for people. Many potential applications of BTI research are to improve crops by increasing yield or nutritional content, or decreasing the need for harmful fertilizers and pesticides. Other research could lead to inexpensive plant-made vaccines, or even shed light on the human immune system. With aims like these in mind, scientists at BTI study life at the scale of genes and proteins to learn about processes such as how plants detect light, or how they respond when aphids bite into them. Along with research, BTI’s mission includes environmental responsibility and outreach to teachers, students, and community members. Though it remains an independent, non-profit institution, BTI is affiliated with Cornell University and is located on its Ithaca, New York campus.