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Ray Kelly joins advisory board at Applied DNA Sciences

Former New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly

Former New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has joined the board of a Stony Brook biotech company. Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Former New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly has joined the strategic advisory board of Applied DNA Sciences, a Stony Brook biotech company.

Kelly will help Applied DNA expand into the law enforcement and security markets, the company said in a release yesterday.

“We’ve just scratched the surface with this use of DNA,” Kelly said in a phone interview. The company’s technology, which uses plant DNA to make anti-counterfeiting products, could be of use to police departments in cataloging and keeping track of confiscated property, as well as serving as a deterrent to criminals, he said.

“I think it would be a deterrent to folks stealing but also [useful] in dealing with stolen property,” Kelly said. He said he learned about Applied DNA through Bob Catell, current chair of the company’s strategic advisory board and former chief executive of KeySpan Corp.

“I was convinced that this is something that is going to make a significant difference in the world of security,” Kelly said.

Applied DNA’s anti-counterfeiting products are designed for use in various industries, including textiles and pharmaceuticals. In 2015, the company announced plans to partner with Suffolk County on a pilot program to test the effectiveness of one of its DNA-laced antitheft products in 500 homes in Huntington Station. The product allows users to apply small traces of plant DNA to valuable items such as electronics and jewelry. In case of a burglary, the unique DNA markers can help police reunite owners with their stolen goods, and better link criminals to crimes.

Kelly “will formulate new ideas, I’m sure, and see our technology as a palette to make the world a better place,” said James Hayward, president and chief executive of Applied DNA.

Kelly, who retired as commissioner in 2013, currently serves as vice chairman of K2 Intelligence, a Manhattan cyberdefense firm, and as a board member of Lake Success-based organic and natural foods company Hain Celestial.

Kelly’s appointment to the Applied DNA advisory board follows another high-profile appointment by the company. Mehmood Khan, vice chairman and chief scientific officer of global research and development for PepsiCo, joined the advisory board earlier this month.


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