CHET, ILAN (1939– ), Israeli microbiologist and pioneer of biological control in agriculture. Chet was about to complete his Ph.D. at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Faculty of Agriculture in Reḥovot when he was called up by the army on the outbreak of the Six-Day War in 1967. Sustaining head injuries and losing his eyesight in the fighting, he dictated his doctoral dissertation to his wife while lying in a hospital bed. Fortunately, he regained his sight, but was nevertheless physically unable to use one of his key research tools, the electron microscope. Changing his academic direction while remaining within the field of molecular biology, he conducted his postdoctoral studies at the University of Wisconsin and later transferred to the Department of Applied Microbiology at Harvard University. In 1975 Chet was appointed associate professor at the Hebrew University's Faculty of Agriculture and in 1978 full professor. He was named founder and director of
His research focuses on the use of environment-friendly microorganisms for the improvement of plant resistance, reducing the need for pesticides. He has published more than 340 articles in international scientific journals, edited four books in his field, and holds 33 patents. Two products based on his research, which improve plant resistance, have been marketed.
[Bracha Rager (2nd ed.)]
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.