William Lesser

William Lesser


210B Warren Hall



Susan Eckert Lynch Professor in Science and Business

Areas of Expertise

  • Biotechnology
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Intellectual Property Rights
  • Life Sciences
  • Marketing
  • Technology Transfer

Graduate Fields

  • Applied Economics and Management
  • International Agriculture and Rural Development


  • Doctorate University of Wisconsin, 1978
  • Master of Science University of Rhode Island, 1974
  • Bachelor of Arts University of Washington, 1968

William Lesser is the Interim David J. Nolan, Director of the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management and the Susan Eckert Lynch Professor in Science and Business. His research focuses on the implications of agricultural biotechnology products on production costs and the size, structure, and geographic distribution of farming. He also concentrates on the costs, benefits, and structural implications of intellectual property, particularly patents, for plants, seed, and animals. His analyses include comparisons between the U.S., Europe, and developing countries.

Research Focus

My research focuses on the roles and transfer of technologies, with particular attention to agricultural biotechnology and intellectual property rights. I attempt to span the large gulf between those who know the law of IPR and the practical implications for farmers and food consumers. Applications are domestic and international.

Teaching Focus

AEM 3350 International Technology Marketing of Biotechnology.
I teach in the area of marketing of technologies with emphasis on life forms and intellectual property rights. Markets are both domestic and international.

Selected Publications

Journal Publications


Research Reports

  • Lesser, W. H. (2016). Banning GMOs in N.Y. School Lunches Carries a Price. Cornell Alliance for Science Cornell Alliance for Science.

In The News


  • AEM 3310: Introduction to Business Regulation 
  • AEM 3350: International Technology Marketing of Biotechnology