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Plant BioTech World Congress to Highlight Scientific Discoveries and Technologies Bringing New Hope to Feeding the World and Improving Lives

ST. LOUIS, May 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Discoveries that can increase crop yields and productivity, create sustainable forests and new medicines, and other advances to improve the lives of farmers and others' lives, especially in the world's poorest countries, will be among the recurring themes of presentations at the upcoming International Association for Plant Biotechnology (IAPB) 12th World Congress, June 6-11, 2010, at the America's Center in downtown, St. Louis, Missouri.

IAPB President Dr. Roger Beachy, Director of USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) will introduce and preside over the Congress, attended by scientists, science policy leaders and others from across the world.

The program includes 60 major presentations by invited speakers and more than 200 short talks. In addition to the topics above, presenters also will discuss biotechnology in terms of agriculture challenges as a result of climate change, and global population growth. More information is available online at  Highlights include:  

Increasing Crop Yields and Productivity

  • Mark Manary, M.D., Washington University School of Medicine Professor of Pediatrics, "Biotechnology and the potential it has to improve human health," focused on improving the lives of the poorest peoples."
  • Peter Beyer, Ph.D., Albert-Ludwigs Universitat Freiburg, Germany, "Golden rice on a mission," describing the long road to developing rice with high levels of beta-carotene.
  • Jian-Kang Zhu, Ph.D., University of California, "Improving plant salt and drought stress tolerance: Opportunities and challenges."
  • Robert Fraley, Ph.D., Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Monsanto Company,  "Sustainable solutions for doubling crop productivity by 2030."
  • Robert Paarlberg, Ph. D.,  Professor of Political Science, Wellesley University, "How agricultural biotechnology is being kept out of Africa."

From Creating New Medicines to Nurturing Sustainable Forests

  • Gary Eldridge, Ph.D., President and CEO of Sequoia Sciences, St. Louis, "Plant bacteria mutualism inspires novel medicines for recalcitrant bacterial infections," describing new plant-inspired pharmaceutical drugs.
  • Maud Hinchee, Ph.D., Chief Technical Officer, ArborGen, LLC,  "Purpose-grown trees for a sustainable future."

Advances in developing new traits in plants

  • Vipula Shukla, Ph.D., Scientific Leader, Technology Licensing and Commercialization, Dow AgroSciences, LLC,  "Targeted genome modification in plants."
  • Mary Ann Lila, Ph.D., Director, Plants for Human Health Institute, North Carolina State University-Plant Science, "Biomarkers:  At the intersection between nutrition, human health and agriculture."
  • Jeffrey Gordon, MD, Ph.D., Washington University School of Medicine, "The human gut microbiome: Dining in with a few trillion fascinating friend," describing the diversity of the microbiome in the human gut.

IAPB is the largest membership organization dedicated to caring for and supporting plant tissue culture and biotechnology around the world. The Congress is being held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Society for In Vitro Biology (SIVB).  

SOURCE International Association for Plant Biotechnology
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