Local entrepreneur James A. Hayward will discuss how DNA can be used to prevent fraud in the next installment of the Ward Melville Heritago Organization's “Unveiling the Mysteries of Medicine” series on Thursday at the .
event, open to the public, will feature Dr. Hayward and the chair of the Department of Medicine at Stony Brook, Dr. Vincent W. Yang, who will deliver a separate presentation, "Your DNA. A Key to Your Health or a Lock on Your Destiny?" The 6:30 p.m. event also includes a buffet dinner for $25.
“We’re very proud to be having these very talented doctors to explain DNA to us as it relates to our health and our lives,” said Gloria D. Rocchio, President of the Ward Melville Heritage Organization.
Hayward’s portion of the program, “Preventing Fraud, One Strand of DNA at a Time,” parallels with the mission of his company, Applied DNA Sciences (ADNAS). Applied DNA Sciences is a Stony Brook-based company that uses unique plant DNA to protect genuine products from being counterfeited. ADNAS reported revenue of $516,904 for the first fiscal quarter of 2012—an 84 percent increase from the previous quarter.
“We can protect the American military against counterfeit microchips, American citizens against counterfeit medicine, and even customers and pharmacists against robberies in search of prescription painkillers,” Hayward said. “We prevent the proliferation of counterfeit; it is relevant to 10 percent of global trade, so there is a huge market.”
Locations nearby ADNAS such as Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and Brookhaven National Laboratory make Stony Brook a good home for ADNAS, according to ADNAS Director of Communications, Mitchell Miller. Plus, its Brooklyn-born CEO has lived in Three Village for over a decade.
“His roots are here in building his other successful businesses,” Miller said of Hayward. “He has gathered a group of what I think are extremely smart and brilliant scientists who also have Long Island backgrounds.”
Prior to becoming the CEO, Hayward was a student and professor at Stony Brook University and was honored as the 2009 Entrepreneur of the Year by the Long Island Hall of Fame. Hayward is still committed to the community and has drawn several interns and employees from the university in an effort to give back to the community, according to Miller.
“I think there is no higher honor than to be recognized by your own community,” Hayward said. “The fact is to run a successful company is in itself a recognition by your community.”