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Dr. Bill McCutchen

McCutchen, Dr. Bill
Dr. Bill McCutchen
Center Director & Associate Professor Texas A&M AgriLife Research - Stephenville
254-968-4144, Ext. 216
Undergraduate Education
B.S. Entomology, Texas A&M University Magna Cum Laude. 1987
Graduate Education
M.S. Entomology, Texas A&M University. 1989
Ph.D. Entomology, University of California-Davis. 1993


  • Academic All-American (1987)
  • Distinguished Graduate Student Research Award, Texas A&M University (1989)
  • Entomology Scholarship, University of California-Davis (1989-1990)
  • Environmental Toxicology NIEHS Training Grant Award & Fellowship (1989-1993)
  • Jastro Shields Research Scholarship (1990, 1991)
  • Young Scientist Award, American Chemical Society (1992)
  • Several R&D recognition awards, patents, and invited speaker roles while at DuPont and Pioneer.
  • DuPont Innovation Award for Recombinant Baculovirus R&D, E.I. DuPont de Nemours (1998)
  • DuPont Research Fellow, E.I. DuPont de Nemours (2002-2005)
  • Inventor of the Year Award for Insect, Disease, and Herbicide R&D, Pioneer Hi-Bred (2004)
  • Henry A. Wallace Agricultural Revolution Impact Award, E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Pioneer Hi-Bred International (2007)
  • Excellence in Innovation Award in Recognition of Innovative Research and Commercialization, Texas A&M University System (2011)
  • Chair, National Agricultural Biotechnology Council (2010-11)
  • Granted Over 70 U.S. Patents Most recently named as an inventor on the following patent applications: PCT/US2015/017936, Compositions and Methods for Inhibition of Mycobacteria. Reddy, M., Sacchettini, J., Valluru, S., McCutchen, B. (Filed Feb. 27, 2015)
  • Fellow, National Academy of Inventors the highest professional distinction accorded solely to academic inventors (2020)

Research Interests

My current initiatives facilitated research using Raman spectroscopy (RS) to provide chemical fingerprints. This research approach has led to major funding opportunities and advances in research that were not likely to occur without large, cohesive teams that understand the different research skills, components, and disciplines needed to successfully develop long-term, grand research collaborations.

RS signatures have enabled detection and quantification of nutritional components such as protein, oil, starch, and fiber content as well as aflatoxin contamination, fungal, viral infections, and the presence of insect/nematode damage in both the plants and seeds. RS has also been utilized in corn, rice, potato, wheat, sorghum, citrus, and roses.  RS has the potential to be used across agriculture for disease and nutrient deficiency diagnosis of crops, as well as researchers elucidating components of nutritional content.  We have recently launched research to identify value-added nutritional traits.

Domesticated/commercial peanuts are lacking sufficient levels for 2 essential amino acids, methionine, and lysine.  By coupling HPLC/MS with RS and producing Raman signatures, we will (finally be able) to screen our vast wild germplasm collection non-destructively and quickly for elevated levels of these limiting amino acids and other vitamins, etc.  Once wild accessions are identified with elevated levels of these two amino acids, we will utilize gene editing and/or cisgenics to enrich peanuts to potential “superfood” status.

I work with a broad interdisciplinary team to develop and utilize remote sensing technologies for actionable decisions by researchers and producers and to make biological discoveries that advance the productivity and sustainability of agriculture. Our research vision is to provide a global leadership position in the proficient use of unmanned aerial systems, ground vehicles, remote sensing, and data analytics to fundamentally advance our agricultural research programs (basic and applied) to develop a pipeline of applications for our scientists, students and ultimately our constituency. Both major programs require introgression of multiple disciplines to include the alignment of research endeavors across plant breeders, physiologists, agronomists, geneticists, bioinformaticians, and/or engineers.

Publications (recent)

Farber, C., Sanchez, L., Rizevsky, S., Ermolenkov, A., McCutchen, B., Cason, J., Simpson, C., Burow, M., Kurouski, D. (2020) Raman Spectroscopy Enables Non-Invasive Identification of Peanut Genotypes and Value-Added Traits. Nature Sci. Rep., 10:7730.

Goolsby, J. A., J. Jung, J. Landivar, B. McCutchen, R. Lacewell, R. Duhaime, D. Baca, R. Puhger, H. Hasel, K. Varner, B. Miller, A. Schwartz & A. Perez de Leon. Evaluation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for detection of cattle in the Cattle Fever Tick Permanent Quarantine Zone. Subtropical Agriculture and Environments. 2016. 67:24-27.

Shi, Y., J.A. Thomasson, S. C. Murray, N. A. Pugh, W. L. Rooney, S. Shafian, N. Rajan, A. Ibrahim, G. Rouze, C. L. Morgan, H. L. Neely, A. Rana, M. V. Bagavathiannan, J. Henrickson, E. Bowden, J. Valasek, J. Olsenholler, M. P. Bishop, R. Sheridan, E. B. Putman, S. Popescu, T. Burks, D. Cope, B. F. McCutchen, D. D. Baltensperger, R. V. Avant, M. Vidrine, C. Yang. Unmanned aerial vehicles for high-throughput phenotyping and agronomic research. 2016 PLoS ONE. Jul 29,11(7).