Dr. Blake Bextine joined DARPA as a program manager in March 2016, and was appointed to serve as acting deputy director of the Biological Technologies office in July 2020. He is interested in novel approaches to addressing issues facing agricultural biotechnology and biosecurity, including nucleic acid-based anti-pathogen/anti-pest strategies, insect and plant transformation strategies for rapid trait selection, and innovative approaches for altering insect behaviors.
Dr. Bextine came to DARPA from the University of Texas at Tyler where he was a Professor of Biology and Assistant Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer. Prior to his arrival at UT Tyler, Dr. Bextine was a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Entomology at the University of California, Riverside.
He received his Doctor of Philosophy degree from Oklahoma State University, Master of Science in Entomology from Texas Tech University, and Bachelor of Arts in Biology from the University of Northern Iowa.
Dr. Bextine is a recipient of the University of Texas System Regents' Outstanding Teaching Award and has also won the UT Tyler President's Scholarly Achievement Award, White Fellowship for Teaching Excellence Award, and multiple UT Tyler Researcher of the Year Awards. He received the 2014 USDA Partnership Award along with other members of the Zebra Chip Research group. In 2014, he appeared on the Discovery Channel Television Show "Tethered."