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Emeritus Professor of Public Health and Microbiology at Colombia UniversityDickson Despommier is Emeritus Professor of Public Health and Microbiology at Columbia University. He earned his Ph.D. degree in microbiology from the University of Notre Dame, and for 28 years conducted laboratory-based biomedical research with NIH-sponsored support at Columbia University. He has spearheaded an initiative whose goal is to produce significant amounts of food crops in multi-storey buildings situated in densely populated urban centers (www.verticalfarm.com and The Vertical Farm: feeding the world in the 21st century, Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press, New York, 2010; paperback, Picadore Pubs. 2011). Dr. Despommier is currently exploring how cities of the near future might function if they were able to produce a significant portion of their food.