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The National Plant Genome Initiative: Objectives for 2003–2008 APPENDIX B Committee Biographies Jeff Dangl (Chair) is the John N.Couch Professor of Biology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research involves pathogen recognition by plants and the evolutionary processes of disease resistance in plants. He is the recipient of the John L.Sanders Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching/Service, UNC-CH, 1998, and the Prize for Young Researchers, State of Nord-Rhein-Westfalen, Germany, 1991. He also serves on the editorial boards of Cell, The Plant Journal, Molecular Plant-Microbe Interaction, Trends in Plant Sciences and Current Opinion in Plant Biology. Dr. Dangl is a past member of the North American Arabidopsis Steering Committee and the NSF Eukaryotic Genetics panel. He is a current member of the NIH CDF-1 Study Section. Dr. Dangl received his BAS in Biological Sciences and English from Stanford University in 1981 and a PhD in Genetics from Stanford University in 1986. He was an NSF Plant Biology postdoctoral fellow from 1986–1989 and a founding Research Group leader of the Max Delbrueck Laboratory of the Max Planck Society in Cologne, Germany from 1989– 1995. Douglas Cook is Professor of Plant Pathology at University of California, Davis, and a Fellow of International Graduate School in Bioinformatics and Genome Research at the Universitat Bielefeld. He also serves as Director of the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
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The National Plant Genome Initiative: Objectives for 2003–2008 Genomics Facility. He has been active in establishing the legume, Medicago truncatula, as a model system for biological and genomics studies. His research interests on M. truncatula include symbiotic nitrogen fixation and the translation of genomic information to crop legume species. His research group is also contributing to an international effort to characterize the transcriptome of Vitis vinifera (grape). He is a member of the International Steering Committee for Grape Genomics and of the US Legume Genomics Initiative. He received his PhD at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and postdoctoral training at the Carnegie Institution of Washington’s Department of Embryology. Robert Haselkorn is a Distinguished Service Professor of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology at The University of Chicago. He has been a leader in demonstrating how the filamentous, heterocystous cyanobacteria accomplish biological nitrogen fixation and photosynthesis simultaneously. Recently, he has studied acetyl-CoA carboxylase genes in wheat and in parasites. He was a Guggenheim Fellow at the Institut Pasteur, and a recipient of the Darbaker Prize of the Botanical Society of America and the Gregor Mendel Medal in Biological Sciences from the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. He received his PhD in biochemistry from Harvard University and studied plant viruses in Cambridge, England as a postdoc. Dr. Haselkorn is chairman of the Board of Directors and a co-founder of Integrated Genomics, Inc., a genome sequencing and bioinformatics company. Elizabeth “Toby” Kellogg is the E.Desmond Lee and Family Professor of Botanical Studies at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Her current research focuses on the evolution of development, identifying genetic changes that correlate with differences among species, genera and families, working specifically with the grass family, which includes the cereal grasses and their numerous wild relatives. She has studied evolution of C4 photosynthesis and evolution of sex expression, but most of her current work involves the architecture of inflorescences—characteristics
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The National Plant Genome Initiative: Objectives for 2003–2008 that have been used for hundreds of years in grass classification. Incorporating an evolutionary tree in this research identifies specific branches of the tree where changes have occurred that have led to modern grass phenotypes. Her lab has been involved in collaborative work producing evolutionary trees for the grass family and many of its 10,000 species, and has helped establish a well-supported phylogeny of the family with the goal of identifying the candidate genes that may be responsible for changes in inflorescence morphology. Dr. Kellogg is the recipient of the Engler Medal of the International Association of Plant Taxonomists and the Hoopes Prize for excellence in supervising undergraduate research. She has served as the President of the Society of Systematic Biologists and on the editorial boards of Australian Systematic Biology, Molecular Biology and Evolution, and the International Journal of Plant Sciences. She received her PhD in biology from Harvard University. Robert L.Last is a Visiting Scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany. He was Director of Discovery Genomics at Cereon Genomics, LLC in Cambridge, Massachusetts from 1998–2002. From 1989 to 1998, Dr. Last was on the staff of the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research at Cornell University, and he was an adjunct Professor of Genetics and Development at Cornell. He was awarded an NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award in 1991, and named a Monsanto Fellow in 2002. His research interests included plant stress adaptation, secondary metabolism, and amino acid biosynthesis. Dr. Last did postdoctoral research in plant genetics at Whitehead Institute from 1986–1989, and received his PhD in Biological Science from Carnegie-Mellon University in 1986. Dr. Last’s service to the scientific community has included chairing the Plant Molecular Biology Gordon Conference, organizing the Cold Spring Harbor Arabidopsis Genetics Course from 1995–1997, and serving as a member of the NIH Biological Sciences 1 Postdoctoral Fellowship Study Section. He is currently an Associate Editor of the journal Plant Physiology and a member of the Keystone Conferences Scientific Advisory Board.
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The National Plant Genome Initiative: Objectives for 2003–2008 Robert Martienssen is a Professor at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, New York and leads the plant biology group there. Dr. Martienssen is a plant geneticist, working on transposons, genome biology, and developmental genetics of maize and the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. He has developed reverse genetics strategies using transposons that have become powerful and widely used tools in plant genetics research and led to the formation of gene function databases for Arabidopsis and maize. In addition to his full-time academic position, Dr. Martienssen is a co-founder and member of the Board of Directors of Orion Genomics, an agricultural genomics company based in St Louis, MO. Dr. Martienssen received his BA in Natural Sciences (Genetics) from Cambridge University, England, in 1982, and his PhD from the Plant Breeding Institute and Cambridge University in 1986. He held an EMBO postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California at Berkeley from 1986–1988 and has been on the faculty at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory since 1989. Dr. Martienssen was a co-recipient of the Kumho International Science Award in Plant Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, 2001. Susan McCouch is associate professor of plant breeding and plant biology at Cornell University. The focus of her research program is to develop and apply molecular tools for rice improvement. She has served as a Plant Genome Panel member for the USDA National Research Initiative, on the tri-agency (NSF/USDA/DOE) Panel on Plant Genome Initiative, and the National Academy of Sciences (NSF) colloquium “Protecting Our Food Supply.” She received her PhD in plant breeding, genetics, and entomology from Cornell University. Ernest Retzel is director of the Center for Computational Genomics and Bioinformatics at the University of Minnesota. His research interests include high-performance distributed computing, genomic databases and data mining, visualization, and extending databases for genomic information and automated analysis. He has served on the Scientific Advisory Board of the National Center for Genome Resources, the
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The National Plant Genome Initiative: Objectives for 2003–2008 University of Nevada Genome Center, and several computer-industry advisory boards. He received his PhD in microbiology from the University of Minnesota. Chris R.Somerville is director of the Department of Plant Biology at the Carnegie Institution of Washington and professor of biological sciences, Stanford University. Dr. Somerville received his BSc in mathematics and a PhD in genetics from the University of Alberta. Dr. Somerville has pioneered the use of the small mustard plant, Arabidopsis thaliana, as a model species for plant molecular genetics. The subjects of his research contributions include plant genomics, embryo development, and the synthesis of structural and storage components of plant cells. Dr. Somerville is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the Royal Society of London and the Royal Society of Canada. He has received the Alexander von Humboldt US Senior Scientist Award, a Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) 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. Dr. Somerville is on numerous editorial boards, and has served on various advisory panels for NSF, the National Institutes of Health, the US Department of Agriculture, and other agencies and institutions. Dr. Somerville is chairman of the Board of Directors of Mendel Biotechnology, Inc., a company that uses functional genomics to study plant genes. He has also served as a consultant to many companies, including Unilever, DuPont, Monsanto, Eli Lilly, Pioneer, and Dow. Susan Wessler is Distinguished Research Professor of Plant Biology and Genetics at the University of Georgia at Athens where she has been since 1983. Her research involves transposable elements and their impact on the evolution of genes and genomes. She has been involved in the isolation of many plant elements including Activator/Dissociation (Ac/Ds). Most recently, her lab discovered miniature inverted repeat
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The National Plant Genome Initiative: Objectives for 2003–2008 transposable elements (MITEs), the most predominant element associated with plant genes. Currently she is heading up a collaborative project that is using computational and experimental approaches to identify and characterize most of the transposable elements in the two sequenced rice genomes. She received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Cornell University and began her studies on plant transposable elements while a Postdoctoral Fellow of the American Cancer Society at the Carnegie Institution of Washington in Baltimore. She is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. She is currently Associate Editor for Plant Physiology and is on the Editorial Boards of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and Current Opinions in Plant Biology. John Yates is professor of cell biology at the Scripps Research Institute and director of protein and metabolite dynamics at the Torrey Mesa Research Institute. His laboratory uses tandem mass spectrometry as a technique for characterizing a proteome, using detailed information yielded by the mass spectrometer to identify proteins from complex mixtures. His research draws on biology, chemistry, and computer science to increase the scope, sensitivity, and throughput of technologies for practical proteomics. He is a recipient of the Pehr Edman Award in Protein Chemistry, and serves on the editorial advisory boards of several journals, including the Journal of Proteome Research and is an associate editor of Analytical Chemistry. He received his PhD in chemistry from the University of Virginia.
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