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Emerging Technologies to Benefit Farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia
encompass the broader issues of systems biology and regulatory problems in a variety of organisms. Dr. Briggs was elected to the National Academy of Sciences for being the first to isolate and characterize the mode of action of a plant disease resistance gene, Hm1, from maize. Before joining the UC San Diego faculty, Dr. Briggs was the Senior Vice President for R&D Platforms at Diversa Corporation, and before that, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Novartis Torrey Mesa Research Institute, and global Head of Genomics at Syngenta AG. Dr. Briggs received his Ph.D. and M.S. in plant pathology from Michigan State University, and his B.S. in botany from the University of Vermont.
Deborah P. Delmer recently retired from her position as the associate director of food security at the Rockefeller Foundation, where she was the science and policy advisor for research related to the advancement of agriculture in developing countries. The focus of her work with the Rockefeller Foundation was agricultural development in Africa. She particularly highlighted abiotic stresses, such as poor soil quality, metal toxicity, and drought, and biotic stresses such as pests, pathogens, and parasitic organisms, as two central problems facing African farmers. She has discussed the need for plant biologists to devote more energy to the realm of translational science, much like the health sciences have recently done. Dr. Delmer was formerly a professor and chair of the Department of Plant Biology at the University of California, Davis (1997-2001). She identified the first cellulose synthase gene in flowering plants. Her research has provided fundamental insights into the enzymatic mechanisms by which cellulose and other complex cell wall polysaccharides are synthesized. Dr. Delmer was elected into the National Academy of Sciences for work that pioneered research in cellulose biosynthesis. Dr. Delmer received her Ph.D. (1968) in cellular biology from the University of California, San Diego, and A.B. (1963) in bacteriology from Indiana University.
Richard P. Dick joined Ohio State University’s College of Natural Resources as an Eminent Scholar in Soil Microbial Ecology in 2004. His research interests are focused on soil ecology and the role of management in affecting soil functions within ecosystems. Dr. Dick studies the biochemical properties and processes in the soils in combination with microbial community analysis by using techniques that measure enzyme activities, microbial biomass, functional diversity, stable isotope probing, and phospholipid profiling (PLFA) of the microbial community structure. Dr. Dick’s research has led to the development of soil-enzyme assays that can be used as rapid indicators of the effects of soil management and pollution on soil biology. Land managers and public and regulatory personnel can use those assays to