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Prof. Chris Somerville
Prof. A.R. Slabas

 

Prof. Chris Somerville
Chris R. Somerville, Ph.D. is Director of the Department of Plant Biology at the Carnegie Institution of Washington and Professor of Biological Sciences, Stanford University.
Prof. Somerville received his B.Sc. in mathematics and Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of Alberta.

Prof. Somerville has pioneered the use of the small mustard plant, Arabidopsis thaliana, as a model species for plant molecular genetics.

The areas of his research contributions include plant genomics, embryo development, and the synthesis of structural and storage components of plant cells.

Prof. Somerville is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, a fellow of the Royal Society of London and the Royal Society of Canada. He has received the Alexander von Humboldt U.S. Senior Scientist Award, a Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation and the Charles F. Schull Award and the Gibbs Medal from the American Society of Plant Physiology. He has been awarded honorary degrees from Queens University, Wageningen University and the University of Alberta.

Prof. Somerville is on numerous editorial boards, and has served on various advisory panels for the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Health, the US Department of Agriculture and other agencies and institutions. He has also served as a consultant to many companies including Unilever, DuPont, Monsanto, Eli Lilly, Pioneer, and Dow.

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Professor A.R. Slabas
Toni Slabas is Professor of Plant Sciences and Director of Research at the University of Durham England. He obtained a 1st class B.Sc. [Hons] in Chemistry and Microbiology from London University and a D.Phil. from Oxford in bacterial metabolism.

Following two postdoctoral appointments in enzymology at the Universities of Sheffield and London he moved to Industry. He has extensive experience in Industrial Research, particularly with regards to vegetable oils, their industrial application, novel ways to make them using biotechnology and the genes and enzymes involved in their biosynthesis.

At Unilever he was head of the Cell Sciences Section before taking up the chair of Plant Sciences at Durham. He serves on a number of committees for the UK Research Council as well as being a member of the Office of Science and Technology "Health and Life Sciences" Foresight Panel, the Governing Body of The Scottish Crops Research Institute and an Editor of Plant Molecular Biology.

His main research interests are in the biochemistry and molecular biology of lipid synthesis. He has published extensively in this area.

Currently he leads a team of 20 research scientists exploring a wide variety of areas of plant lipid metabolism ranging from enzyme isolation, protein sequencing, lipid analyses, substrate specificity of enzymes, and genetic manipulation of plants. He has extensive collaborations with a wide variety of industries.

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