PETER CARLSON

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CARLSON Peter Spikins Carlson A pioneering plant scientist who helped introduce genetically modified organisms to agriculture to increase the world's food supply and improve global nutrition, died on November 23, 2017 in Potomac, MD. He was 73. The cause was heart failure. Peter was born in Brooklyn, NY, to Ruth Elizabeth (Spikins) and John Ohly Carlson. A proud graduate of Dover High School and Kenyon College in Ohio, Peter went on to earn a Ph.D. in biology from Yale University. Peter spent his early career in academia, adored as a teacher for his generous, gregarious nature, and admired as a researcher for his quenchless curiosity. In 1974, he was appointed as the John Hannah Distinguished Professor of Agriculture at Michigan State University. He spent 1980 in Beijing as the first foreign expert employed to introduce modern agricultural genetic technologies to China. Peter was a prolific author of many scientific articles and inventor of many patents. He was also a passionate entrepreneur, serving as a principal or advisor to many ventures focused on commercializing agricultural and pharmaceutical biotechnologies, including Crop Genetics International Corp., which he co-founded, and more recently, Emerald BioAgriculture Corporation, to which he was Chief Scientific Advisor. Above all else, Peter was known for his love of life and laughter, his selfless spirit, and his deep devotion to family. He is survived by his loving wife of 32 years, Mary Helen Carlson, his children, Jacob, Rachele, Mark, Kim Lara, Andrew, Lillian, and David, 18 grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and his brother, William (Bill) Carlson and family. Services will be held on Saturday, December 2 at 1 p.m. at The Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in Bethesda, Maryland. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Starlight School, c/o Ruth Carlson Foundation, 518 Church Ave. SW, New Philadelphia, OH 44663.Services will be held on Saturday, December 2 at 1 p.m. at The Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in Bethesda, Maryland. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Starlight School, c/o Ruth Carlson Foundation, 518 Church Ave. SW, New Philadelphia, OH 44663.
Published in The Washington Post from Nov. 26 to Dec. 1, 2017
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