Advisory Board

Peter Gresshoff, Professor, University of Queensland, Australia

PeterGresshoff

Professor Peter Gresshoff obtained a BSc. in Biochemistry and Genetics from the University of Alberta (1970), his PhD from the Australian National University (1973), and then a DSc. also from the ANU (1989). He was at ANU from 1975-1987, leading a major genetics research program into soybean nodulation genetics, then endowed Chair of Excellence of Plant Molecular Genetics at the University of Tennessee from 1988, then (1999) Head of Botany, University of Queensland. Since 2003, he is Director of the ARC?s Centre of Excellence for Integrative Legume Research (CILR). Prof. Gresshoff is a plant developmental geneticist, using molecular and genetic tools to understand complexities of gene networks during the control of nodule formation in legumes, whilst also applying these mechanistic molecular facts to the sustainable production of biofuel from the legume tree Pongamia pinnata. He is a Fellow of the AAAS, the Indian NAAS, the Russian AAS, and has been nominated for the Australian Academy of Science. Professor Gresshoff has published over 350 refereed papers, edited 10 books, and holds 12 patents. His h-index is 42, with over 10,000 citations. For more information click here.

Thomas Wisniewski, MD, Professor, New York University, USA

WisniewskiDr. Wisniewski is a Professor of Neurology, Pathology and Psychiatry at NYU. Dr. Wisniewski’s laboratory focuses on gaining a better understanding of conformational disorders such as AD and prion related disease. This work has led to over 180 peer-reviewed publications. Key contributions have included discovering the role of apolipoprotein E in driving amyloid ? accumulation in late-onset AD. Dr. Wisniewski has pioneered a potential novel approach to treat AD-related pathology by blocking the interaction of AD and apoE. In addition, Dr. Wisniewski has been developing strategies for the prevention of amyloid ? accumulation and its removal in AD using non-toxic, highly immunogenic AB homologous peptides as “vaccines”. This approach has been shown to be efficacious in a number of animal models of AD. The use of this “vaccination” approach for prion disease was pioneered by Dr. Wisniewski’s group. His laboratory has shown for the first time that both a passive and active vaccination approach is effective in animal and tissue culture models of prion disease. Significantly, Dr. Wisniewski’s laboratory developed an oral mucosal prion vaccination, which is the first vaccine that has been shown to prevent prion peripheral infection in wild-type animals. In addition, Dr. Wisniewski’s laboratory has been active in the development of diagnostic methods for the detection of amyloid deposits. These various studies by Dr. Wisniewski’s laboratory have helped direct our greater understanding of abnormal protein accumulation in the brain towards diagnostic and therapeutic interventions. For more information click here.

Alan Walters, Southern Illinois University, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL, USA

Walters_AlanDr. Walters is a Professor of Vegetable Science and Breeding in the Department of Plant, Soil and Agricultural Systems at Southern Illinois University.  He obtained his B.S.A. and M.P.P.P.M. from the University of Georgia in 1986 and 1988, and M.S. and PhD degrees in Horticultural Science from North Carolina State University in 1991 and 1996, respectively.  He has been at SIUC since 1998 and is responsible for teaching several classes including Home Gardening, Commercial Vegetable Production, and Crop Physiology.  His research has focused on many different applied cultural management issues in vegetable production, including pollination ecology of Cucurbitaceae crops (especially watermelon), reduced tillage practices for vegetable production; vegetable disease and weed management; local, sustainable vegetable production; vegetable cultivar evaluations; vegetable crop fertility management systems; and horseradish production and breeding.  He has also spent considerable amounts of time internationally in recent years focusing on integrated water and irrigation management in vegetable crops. For more information click here.

David A. Lightfoot, PhD, Professor, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL, USA

DALDr. David Lightfoot received a BS degree in Genetics and Development from the University of East Anglia, UK in 1981 and a PhD in Genetics from University of Leeds, UK in 1985. In 1991, Dr. Lightfoot joined the Department of Plant, Soil and General Agriculture at Southern Illinois University where he works as a Professor of Biotechnology and Genomics. He was promoted in 1997 and 2000. Dr. Lightfoot is cross appointed in the Department of Plant Biology and the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Dr. Lightfoot co-authored the RAMP request for the Center for Excellence in Soybean Research, Teaching and Outreach. He is a Chair of the Research Committee in the Center for Excellence in Soybean Research, Teaching and Outreach and director of the Genomic Science Facility at SIUC. Dr. Lightfoot works on GMO safety and gene discovery by genomics, particularly methods to read and use the DNA sequences of chromosomes. He targets commercially valuable disease resistances, phyto-pharmaceuticals and crop yield boosting elements. Dr. Lightfoot is Director of a University spin-off company ?Genome and Agricultural Biotechnology? LLC from 1999 to present. Dr. Lightfoot has been granted 5 patents and has 5 pending patents. He has published forty four peer reviewed articles in International journals of high impact factors, has >7,000 Batch Sequence Submissions Published in Electronic Databases (16), has twenty eight edited Publications, one Book, and five Chapters. Dr. Lightfoot is an associate editor for one journal and serves on the editorial boards of several others. For more information click here.

James A. Saunders, PhD, Professor, Advisor, IGC Company, Potomac, MD, USA (Retired from Towson University, Towson, MD, USA)

SaundersDr. James A. Saunders received a BA degree from University of South Florida in 1971 and a PhD in Botany at Miami University, OH in 1975. After that, Dr. Saunders worked as Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Davis from 1975 to 1977. Dr. James joined then the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Beltsville, MD where he worked as a Research Biochemist from 1977 to 2003. In 2004, Dr. James joined the Department of Biology, Towson University, Towson, MD where he currently serves as a Professor and Director of Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Bioinformatics (MB3). Professor Saunders published nearly 100 manuscripts in high quality peer-reviewed scientific journals all aspects of plant sciences and holds several patents. For more information click here.

George Perry, PhD, Professor and Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, The University of Texas at San Antonio, USA

George_PerryDr. George Perry received a BA degree in Zoology from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1974 and a PhD degree in Marine Biology from the from the University of California, San Diego in 1979. Dr. Perry held a position of a Postdoctoral Fellow in Cell Biology at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas from 1979 to 1982. In 1982, Dr. Perry joined Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio where he served as an Assitant Professor (1982-1989), Associate Professor (1989-1994), and Professor (1994-2005). Dr. Perry also served as Interim Chair of the Department of Pathology, Case Western Reserve University from 2001 to 2005. In 2006, Dr. Perry was appointed as the Dean of the College of Sciences at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Dr. Perry?s research projects are focused on the mechanism of formation and physiological consequences of the cytopathology of Alzheimer disease. Dr. Perry?s research group have shown that oxidative damage is the initial cytopathology in Alzheimer disease. The group is working to determine the sequence of events leading to neuronal oxidative damage and the source of the increased oxygen radicals. The studies focus on (i) the mechanism for RNA-based redox metal binding; (ii) the consequences of RNA oxidation on protein synthesis rate and fidelity; (iii) the role of redox active metals in mediating prooxidant and antioxidant properties; (iv) the signal transduction pathways altered in Alzheimer disease that allow neurons to evade apoptosis; and (v) mechanism of phosphorylation control of oxidative damage to neurofilament proteins. Dr. Perry published over 300 publications in high quality peer-reviewed international journals; is a standing member of several professional societies, received many grants and awards such as the ?NIH Research Career Development Award? (1987-1993), the ?American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellowship? in 1998, a ?Honorary Doctorate? from Universidad Arturo Prat, Chile in 1998, and the Denham Harmon Research Award, American Aging Association in 2008 among many others. Dr. Perry also serves Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Alzheimer?s Disease (1998-Present), Senior Associate Editor (Biological Sciences) of Microscopy Research and Technique (2002-Present), Atlas Journal of Medical & Biological Sciences, Atlas Journal of Biology, Atlas Journal of Chemistry and Biochemistry as well as Advisory Board member of Atlas Scientific Publishing, LP. For more information click here.

John Groninger, PhD, Professor, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL, USA

GroningerDr. John Groninger is a Professor of Forestry at Southern Illinois University where his research and teaching focus on silviculture, agroforestry, urban forestry, and landscape rehabilitation. John works internationally on integrated natural resources management, most recently in Afghanistan through USAID and USDA projects including agriculture and technology transfer and pre-deployment training for U.S. civilian and military personnel in watershed management, rural affairs, and agricultural communications. John holds a Ph.D. in Forestry from Virginia Tech; he is widely published in forest restoration, stand dynamics, agroforestry, environmental and foreign affairs journals. For more information click here.

Khalid Meksem, PhD, Professor, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL, USA

MeksemDr. Khalid Meksem received a BS degree in Biology from University Hassan II, Morocco in 1989, an MS degree in Plant Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of Paris XI, France, and a PhD in Genetics, Biochemistry, and Botany in 1995 at the University of Colon and Max Planck Institute, Germany. In 1996, Dr. Meksem joined the Department of Plant, Soil, and Agricultural Systems, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL, USA as a Postdoctoral Fellow where he worked from 1996 to 2000. Dr. Meksem served as an Assistant Professor from 2000 to 2004 then as Associate Professor from 2004 to 2009, and was promoted to full Professor in 2009. Dr. Meksem?s research interest cover both, structural and functional genomics, and his long time area of interest is the molecular dissection of plant disease resistance mechanisms to nematodes and fungi. Dr. Meksem is serving as Editor-in-Chief of Plant Genome and Systems Biology, as Associate Editor of the International Journal of Plant genomics, and as reviewer for a number of international scientific journals as well as for several granting agencies. For more information click here.

Abdelmajid Kassem, PhD, Professor and Dept. Chair, Fayetteville State University, Fayetteville, NC, USA

Dr. Abdelmajid Kassem received a BS degree in Plant Biology from Mohamed V University, Morocco in 1992, an MS degree in Enzymatic Engineering, Bioconversion, and Microbiology from the University of Picardie Jules Verne, Amiens, France in 1995. In 1999, Dr. Kassem joined the Center for Excellence in Soybean Research, Teaching, and Outreach, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL, USA where he earned his Ph.D. in Plant Genetics, Genomics, and Physiology in December 2003. In 2004, Dr. Kassem joined Kean University, NJ as Assistant Professor and worked there from 2004 to 2006. In 6006, Dr. Kassem joined the Department of Natural Sciences, Fayetteville State University, NC as an Associate Professor of Botany and was promoted to Full Professor in 2009. Dr. Kassem serves as an Advisory Board member of Scientific Journals International (SJI), an Associate Editor of Journal of Forestry, Horticulture, and Soil Science, a member of the Editorial Board of Journal of Biotech Research, and a reviewer for several international journals and granting agencies. For more information click here.

Karen Stoelzle Midden, Professor, Southern Illinois University, USA

Karen MiddenDr. Karen Stoelzle Midden is a Professor in Plant, Soil and Agricultural Systems at SIU and a registered Landscape Architect in Illinois. Her research and teaching focus on designing outdoor spaces and land planning with an emphasis on ecological practices as green roofs, urban agriculture and vertical gardens as well as the method of instruction. Karen works closely with SIU Center of Teaching Excellence in the development of online and face to face classes and educational material which are used as model demonstrations. Recently she co-authored the second edition of a book focusing on gardens incorporated into young children?s curriculum. Her Master of Landscape Architecture is from the University of Georgia where she developed an educational gaming/simulation on landscape planning; she continues to research gaming/simulation as well as additional hands-on educational tools. For more information click here.

Melissa S. Kosinski-Collins, Brandeis University, Waltham MA, USA

Kosinski-CollinsMelissa Kosinski-Collins is an Associate Professor of Biology at Brandeis University. Melissa received her PhD from MIT in 2004 studying protein folding and aggregation in the laboratory of Jonathan King. Melissa completed an HHMI science education post doc in the laboratory of Graham Walker focused on 3D visualization in the classroom. At Brandeis, Melissa is currently designing an experiential, project-based program that bridges the organic chemistry and introductory biology laboratories. She is the academic coordinator of the Brandeis Science Posse program and the MRSEC director of Education and Outreach. Melissa’s current research addresses retention in the sciences of minority and underrepresented students and student learning gains in project-based laboratory curricula. For more information click here.

Ahmed M. Al-Hejin, PhD, Associate Professor, King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia

AlhegenDr. Ahmed Al-Hejin received a BS degree in Microbiology from the King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia in 1996, an MS degree in Molecular Medical Microbiology from the University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK in 2001, and a PhD in Molecular Medical Microbiology from King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia in 2007. In 2007, he joined the King Abdulaziz University as an Assistant Professor and in 2008 as the Vice-Dean of Library Affairs. Dr. Al-Hejin is a standing and active member of several international professional societies. Dr. Al-Hejin research interests are in the area of medical microbiology. He is particularly interested in epidemiological effects of Neisseria meningitidis in Western region of Saudi Arabia and the evaluation of the efficiency of local treatments and prophylaxis of N. meningitides. Dr. Al-Hejin investigates also the possibility of using local medicinal plant as alternatives to antibiotics. For more information click here.

Mohamed Dehbi, PhD, Qatar Biomedical Research Institute, Doha, Qatar

DehbiDr. Mohammed Dehbi received a BS degree in Biology & Geology from Mohamed V University, Rabat, Morocco in 1985, an MS degree in Molecular and Cell Biology from Louis Pasteur University, Strasbourg, France in 1990, and a PhD in Biochemistry from University of Montreal, Montreal, Canada in 1995. After his graduation, Dr. Dehbi worked as Postdoctoral Fellow at McGill University, Montreal, Canada. In 1997, he started a Biotechnology company ‘Targanta Therapeutics formerly known as Phagetech Inc.’ in Montreal focusing in developing new classes of antibiotics based on phage genomics. Dr. Dehbi started as a Senior Molecular Biologist, then as Senior Scientist and Leader of the Proteomics group to run the Proteomics program where he played in key role in bacterial target identification and validation. Shortly after, he was promoted to Research Fellow in 2003. In December 2005, he joined King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Center in Saudi Arabia to set-up and run the Cell Injury & Inflammation Research Unit. His interest was to understand the effect of heat injury on the inflammatory response, organ damage, and death using animal models. In 2009, he joined the ‘Dasman Center for Research & Treatment of Diabetes’ in Kuwait where he setup the Biochemistry & Molecular Biology program as a Senior Scientist and Head of the Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Unit. Dr. Dehbi was the Editor-In-chief of ‘Reviews in Biology & Biotechnology’ journal. Dr. Dehbi is a regular reviewer for J. Neuropharmnacology and the Annals of Saudi Medicine. He received several awards, studentships, and fellowships such as the prestigious National Cancer Institute of Canada (NCIC). For more information click here.

Abdelhafid Bendahmane, PhD, Research Director, URGV, INRA, France

BendahmaneDr. Abdelhafid Bendahmane obtained his MS degree in Plant Sciences from the University of Paris XI, France and PhD from the University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK. Currently, he is the Head of the Crop Functional Genomics team, INRA, URGV, Evry, France. The major goal of CFG team is to develop and apply modern genomics approaches to study crop plants. The most significant achievement of the last three years is the development of a HTP pea TILLING platform and the construction of a pea BAC library of more than 400,000 clones. These resources are being used to isolate genes of agronomic importance from pea. Dr. Bendahmane is also involved in GL-TTP through his commitment to the GLIP and the desire to make the results of the pea TILLING platform available for exploitation by the broad user community. As a member of GL-TTP Council, he strongly supports the development of the GL-TTP in forging strong links between research and industry. For more information click here.

Sherrice V. Allen, PhD, CEO, SVA1 Allen Consulting, LLC, Fayetteville, NC, USA

AllenDr. Sherrice V. Allen received a BS degree in Medical Technology from East Carolina University in 1988, an MS degree in Biology at Fayetteville State University in 1995, and a PhD degree in Microbiology from North Carolina State University in 1999 and joined FSU in 1999. In fall 2000, Dr. Allen was accepted into the SPIRE (Seeding Postdoctoral Innovators in Research and Education) Postdoctoral Research and Teaching Fellows program at UNC-Chapel Hill. Dr. Allen joined the faculty at FSU for a second time as an Assistant Professor in spring 2002. Over the last seven years, she has trained more than twenty high schools, undergraduate and graduate students in her research lab. Several of these students have presented their research at local, regional and national conferences. Her current research investigates if key enzymes involved in the de novo synthesis of folic acid in Pseudomonas aeruginosa could serve as targets for novel antimicrobial agents. She also investigates if arylsulfatase enzymes encoded by ceramide synthesis genes in Magnaporthe grisea play a role in pathogenicity and development. Dr. Allen is committed to train and mentor students to become the next generation of scientist. She works diligently to acquire funding to support STEM enrichment and research programs at FSU. She served as the Co-Principal Investigator for the NIH-funded Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (FSU-RISE) grant, serving as the Assistant Director and Director of the program. In addition, she is the Principal Investigator of a National Science Foundation Research Initiation Grant. Finally, she is the Director of the Center for Promoting STEM Education and Research, (CPSER); funded by Title III. Housed in the College of Arts and Sciences, CPSER promotes academic excellence, research, and public service in STEM disciplines and it serves as an umbrella program for STEM minority enrichment programs that have the mission of increasing the number of well-prepared minority students that excel in, and pursue advanced degrees in STEM fields. Dr. Allen is now the CEO and owner of SVA1 Consulting, LLC specialized in education consulting.

Nacer Bellaloui, PhD, Research Plant Physiologist, USDA-ARS, USA

BellalouiDr. Nacer Bellaloui received a Diploma of Higher Studies in Plant Biology from the Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Constantine, Algeria in 1984, and a PhD in Plant Nutrition from the Department of Pure and Applied Biology, University of Leeds, UK in 1989. In 1989, Dr. Bellaloui joined the University of Constantine, Institute of Biological Sciences, where he served as an assistant professor. In 1993, Dr. Bellaloui received a fellowship research award from the German research foundation, Deutsher Academischer Austauschdienst to join the Institute of Plant Nutrition in Stuttgart, Germany, to work on the effect of drought on corn. Then, Dr. Bellaloui joined the Department of Pomology, University of California, Davis in 1995 as visiting scientist. In UC Davis, Dr. Bellaloui investigated the mechanisms and genetics of boron nutrition in plants using classical and molecular techniques by investigating the relationship between boron mobility and sugar alcohols. Dr. Bellaloui was able, with his colleagues at UC Davis, to prove, using transgenic tobacco and rice, that boron is mobile in species containing sugar alcohols. Dr. Bellaloui served as lecturer at the College of Agriculture, Chico State University from 2000 to 2004. In 2004, Dr. Bellaloui joined the United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS), Crop Genetics Research Unit, in Stoneville, Mississippi, where he works as a Research Plant Physiologist. Dr. Bellaloui is currently investigating the effects of drought, high heat, and diseases on seed protein, oil, fatty acids, and phenolics in soybean seed. Dr. Bellaloui authored and co-authored several peer-reviewed articles and invited book-chapters in well-respected international journals. Dr. Bellaloui is a reviewer of several international journals such as Crop Science, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Journal of Crop Improvement, and Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology. Dr. Bellaloui serves as an Editorial Board member of Agricultural Sciences, International Scholarly Research Network Agronomy, Atlas Journal of Biology, Atlas Journal of Plant Genome Sciences, and as well as Advisory Board member of Atlas Publishing, LP. For more information click here.

Zhiping Luo, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Fayetteville State University, USA

Luo-ZhipingDr. Zhiping Luo is an Associate Professor of physics and Materials Science, and Manager of Southeastern North Carolina Regional Microanalytical and Imaging Consortium, Fayetteville State University, Fayetteville, NC, USA. He received Ph.D. degree from the Chinese Aeronautical Establishment in 1994, and subsequently he worked as a Principle Investigator at Beijing Institute of Aeronautical Materials, China. From 1996 to 1997, he stayed at Okayama University of Science, Japan, as a Postdoctoral Researcher to study transmission electron microscopy techniques with Professor Hatsujiro Hashimoto. In 1998, he moved to Materials Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory, as a Visiting Scholar and was then promoted Assistant Scientist. During 2001 to 2012, he worked at Texas A&M University as a Research Scientist at the Microscopy and Imaging Center and lately a Graduate Faculty Member of the Materials Science and Engineering Program. In August 2012, he jointed Fayetteville State University. His research interest is on the fabrication of novel nanostructured materials with enhanced properties for energy-related applications; material structures through electron microscopy; and material structure-property correlations. For more information click here.

Billo Diallo, PhD, Researcher, Universite Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Belgium

Billo DialloDr. Billo Diallo received a Pharmacy Degree from Gamal Abdel Nasser University (Guinea) in 1974. He was then appointed by the Guinean ministry of industry as researcher where he was involved in research activities related to medicinal plants and traditional medicine. In 1980, he joined the [Laboratoire Central de Matoto] as head of research and quality control. In 1983, he received a research fellowship from the World Health Organization (WHO) to perform further researches on some plants in African traditional medicines in the Department of Pharmacognosy and Bromatology, Pharmaceutical Institute, Universite Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium. In 1989, he earned a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Universite Libre de Bruxelles] In 1990, Dr. Diallo was appointed as Researcher in Universite Libre de Bruxelles and Laboratoires Debat, a French Company. Dr. Diallo was also appointed as a Pharmacist in the University hospital Saint-Pierre in Brussels (Belgium) in 1994. In 1996, He was involved in a research project on conotoxins from Conus sp. in the Department of Biochemical and Molecular Pharmacology of the [Vrije Universiteit Brussel] (VUB, Belgium)]. In 1998, he joined the Department of Plant Biotechnology (Universite Libre de Bruxelles) as researcher on medicinal plants and on plants-microbes interactions. In 2004, he was appointed as Team Leader at (BioVallee), a research center of ULB, where his researches focused on inhibitors of bacterial quorum sensing. Since 2007, Dr. Diallo serves as Scientific Collaborator in the Department of Plant Biotechnology of the [Universite Libre de Bruxelles]. For more information click here.

Abdelhamid El Mousadik, Professor and Vice-President for Research, Ibn Zohr University, Morocco

El-MousadikDr. Abdelhamid EL MOUSADIK received a BS degree in General Biology from Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University, Morocco in 1987, a CEA degree in Environment Science from the University of Moulay Ismail, Morocco in 1988. In 1991, Dr. El Mousadik obtained a DES degree in plant-genetic resources from Mohamed V University, Morocco.  Dr. El Mousadik joined the Ibn Zohr University of Morocco, as Assistant Professor in 1991, he had PhD in 1997 and he became Full Professor in 2001. Dr. El Mousadik is the head of the Laboratory of Biotechnology and Valorization of Natural Resources (LBVRN) since 2005, and a reviewer for several international journals related to biodiversity, genetic markers, phylogeny and phylogeography.

 Manash Chatterjee, PhD,  Founder and Director, BenchBio, Inc., India

manash_chatterjeeDr. Manash Chatterjee has 20 years of experience in the field of plant breeding, biotechnology and functional genomics and is inventor on two patents. He has been involved in collaborative research with academic institutes in India and abroad and has published several papers in plant biology. Dr. Chatterjee began his career as senior scientist at Biogemma UK Ltd., Cambridge unit (Group Limagrain, France, the largest seed company in Europe). He was project leader and led functional genomics and gene discovery research projects for 8 years at Biogemma. In 2005, he moved to National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB) in Cambridge, UK as project leader were the idea of forming the BenchBio Company was conceived. He has served on the UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Agri- Food committee and French plant genomics program (Genoplante) Bioinformatics committee. Dr. Chatterjee, was born in New Delhi. He studied at G.B. Pant University, Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi, Cambridge University (UK) and obtained his PhD from the John Innes Center, Norwich (UK). His PhD thesis was judged second for the Irene Manton Prize in 1995. He later pursued his post-doctoral training at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, San Diego (USA). Currently he also holds an adjunct faculty position in the Department of Botany and Plant science at the University of Galway (NUIG), Ireland. For more information click here.

Todd West, PhD, Associate Professor, North Dakota State University, WV, USA

TwestDr. Todd P. West is originally from Madison, WI. He received his BS degree in Biology from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. He received his masters and doctoral degrees from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Todd is currently an Associate Professor at North Dakota State University and director of the NDSU Woody Plant Improvement Program. This program focuses on the development of new woody cultivars suited for USDA hardiness zone 3 and 4. Dr. West is a member in several international professional organizations such as American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB), International Society of Aboriculture (ISA),International Plant Propagator’s Society (IPPS) Eastern Region, International Association of Professional Landcare Network (PLANET), and Gamma Sigma Delta (National Honor Society of Agriculture and Forestry), American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS). Dr. West is a reviewer for several international journals in his field of expertise and granting agencies. For more information click here.

 Eid Haddad, Assistant Professor, Fayetteville State University, Fayetteville, NC, USA

Dr. Eid Haddad received his Ph.D. from The Pennsylvania State University (PSU), and worked as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at PSU, then as a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at The University of Arkansas, USA. Dr. Haddad is an Assistant Professor of Physiology at Fayetteville State University, a constituent institution of The University of North Carolina. Prior to that, Dr. Haddad worked at ImmunoBio Inc. (IBI) as Senior Research Scientist and later became the Vice President of Research and Development. While at IBI, he was a visiting scientist at the Department of Molecular Biomedical Sciences, North Carolina State University. He conducted research on application of a novel vaccine technology toward the development of viral and bacterial vaccines for mammalian including human applications. Prior to that, he held several research and managerial positions at Embrex Inc. with the last position being Senior Manager of Global Product Development. He worked on the development of veterinary viral vaccines against several economically important veterinary diseases. His research led to the company gaining regulatory approval for two viral vaccines here in the USA, and for one of them in multiple countries. Dr. Haddad and his colleagues published many articles in Vaccinology, Immunology, and Endocrinology in high quality peer-reviewed scientific journals and presented his work at multiple national and international conferences.

Hortense Dodo, PhD, Professor and President, IngateyGen, LLC

Dr. Hortense Dodo is an Inventor, a Scientific Entrepreneur and the President of IngateyGen, LLC., (http://www.ingateygen.com) an AgBiotech company providing services and products.  The services include: organic and private labels, testing for nutritional composition, soil and water quality. Detection of allergens, fertilizers and pesticides presence in food and the environment, and performing your plant tissue culture and transformation experiments.  The products include (1) Pnut4LifeTM a hypoallergenic peanut devoid of the majors and most commons peanut allergens and (2) SuperPnutTM a new peanut variety biofortified with all the essential amino acids and proposed as high protein and energy bars. For 18 years, Dr Dodo was a tenured professor of Food Biotechnology and Molecular Biology at Alabama A&M University, Normal, AL. Dr Dodo has trained many American and international high school, undergraduate (BS) and graduate (MS and PhD) students.  She continues to inspired and train many youths and girls in the US and around the world to embrace the STEM fields. Dr Dodo has been successful in acquiring several million dollars in funding for research, capacity building and student training.  Her company was recently awarded an SBIR Phase I award from the National Science Foundation. Dr Dodo has travelled extensively as a scientific and Biotech consultant for the US Dept. of State and many international organizations. She is a Fulbright Scholar and has served as a keynote speaker for many National and International organizations and has presented hundreds of scientific conferences and abstracts. She has published numerous peer reviewed scientific articles and book chapters.  Dr Dodo is an active member of many professional and scientific organizations. She speaks English and French fluently and can read and write in Spanish. Dr Dodo holds a Bachelor degree and two Master’s degrees: (1) Animal Science from the University of Abidjan, CI and (2) Food Science, from the University of Georgia in Athens GA, USA, and a PhD degree in Food Biotechnology & Molecular Biology from Penn State University PA, USA (1992). For more information click here.

Koffi Konan, PhD, Professor and Vice-President for Research & Development, IngateyGen, LLC

Dr. Koffi Konan is a senior scientist and VP R&D at IngateyGen LLC, (http://www.ingateygen.com) and an Adjunct Specialty Professor at Fayetteville State University, Fayetteville, NC. He is leading the research activities in plant genomics, and plant tissue culture in this Start-Up AgBiotech company to develop innovative plant-derived food products which enhance the quality of Human lives. Dr. Konan was a former member of the graduate faculty and a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Food & Animal Sciences at Alabama A&M University (AAMU), Normal AL from 2000 to 2013. During his tenure at AAMU, he advised and graduated several PhD and Master students in plant biotechnology, trained several international students, undergraduate students and high school science teachers in plant biotechnology and molecular biology.  He Co-authored the US patent entitled “Down -regulation and silencing of allergens in transgenic peanut seeds”, acquired extramural funds and taught several courses in plant and food biotechnology. He was an Associate Editor for Crop Science Journal.  Dr Konan holds a PhD. in Plant Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering since 1993 from the University of Picardie Jules Verne, France. He was a Postdoctoral Researcher in two prestigious Research institutions; The Scripps Research Institute (La Jolla, CA) and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Saint Louis, MO. He has co-authored over 25 refereed articles and book chapters, and made over 50 national and international scientific presentations. For more information click here.