International Scientific Advisory Panel

Reporting to the GIFS Board of Directors, the ISAP is an international advisory panel which provides independent expert science advice on GIFS’ science quality and science strategy; international scientific trends, emerging scientific research opportunities, and challenges in national and global contexts; knowledge translation; and potential national and international collaborations and linkages. The panel is made up of internationally recognized scientists in areas of expertise that align with GIFS’ research themes. The Chair and members are appointed by GIFS’ Board of Directors, in consultation with the Institute’s Executive Director and CEO.

John Pickett

Having received his BSc Honours chemistry in 1967 and PhD, in organic chemistry synthesis in 1971 from the University of Surrey, John completed his training in organic chemistry with a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Manchester (then UMIST) 1970/1972.  He joined the Brewing Industry Research Institute in 1972 studying the chemistry of malt and hops for new brewing processes.  In 1976 he joined the Insecticides and Fungicides Department (later the Department of Biological Chemistry) and was appointed Head of Department in 1984 and, concurrently in 2007, Scientific Director of the Rothamsted Centre for Sustainable Pest and Disease Management. In 2010, he relinquished these positions on being awarded the first Michael Elliott Distinguished Research Fellowship at Rothamsted. In November 2017, he took up a new position as Chair of Biological Chemistry in the School of Chemistry at the University of Cardiff. As well as fulfilling this prestigious new role, he leads a new laboratory at Cardiff contributing to the subject of chemical ecology and wider interests in biological chemistry in the UK and around the world. He has over 540 publications and patents. John’s contributions to the field of chemical ecology have been acknowledged with the 1995 Rank Prize for Nutrition and Crop Husbandry, election to Fellowship of the Royal Society in 1996, Member of the Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina, 2001, International Society of Chemical Ecology Medal 2002, appointment to CBE for Services to Biological Chemistry in 2004, and the Wolf Foundation Prize in Agriculture in 2008, among many other international measures of esteem. He also presented, in 2008, the Royal Society’s premier lecture in the biological sciences, The Croonian Prize Lecture, and the Cornell University Lecture in 2009. He was awarded the International Congress of Entomology Certificate of Distinction, presented at the XXIV International Congress of Entomology. In June 2014 he became President of the Royal Entomological Society. In April 2014 he was elected Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences (US). In 2017 he presented Sterling B Hendricks Memorial Lecture of the American Chemical Society.

Julia Bailey-Serres

Julia Bailey-Serres is Professor of Genetics in the Department of Botany and Plant Sciences and Director of the Center for Plant Cell Biology at the University of California, Riverside. She is also Professor of Rice Physiology at Utrecht University, The Netherlands. Her honors include member of the US National Academy of Sciences, fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, fellow of the American Society of Plant Biologists and recipient of the USDA National Research Initiatives Discovery Award. Dr. Bailey-Serres is recognized for the in-depth dissection of the function of SUBMERGENCE 1A gene, responsible for survival of rice plants under prolonged submergence as evidenced by its successful use in breeding programs that has led to stabilizing rice grain yield in flood-prone regions of Asia.

Richard 'Dick' Flavell

Dr. Flavell received his PhD and DSc from the University of East Anglia in the UK and has been a Fellow of European Molecular Biology Organization since 1990 and of The Royal Society of London since 1998. From 1987 to 1998, Dr. Flavell was the Director of the John Innes Centre in Norwich, England, a premier plant and microbial research institute. He joined Ceres in 1998 and served as Chief Scientific Officer from 1998 to October 2012, overseeing a large gene discovery program and the breeding of improved bioenergy crops. He has published over 220 scientific articles, lectured widely, and contributed significantly to the development of modern biotechnology in agriculture. In 1999, Dr. Flavell was named a Commander of the British Empire for his contributions to plant and microbial sciences.

Margaret Gadsby

With degrees from McMaster University and the University of British Columbia, Margaret Gadsby worked in the Agribusiness industry for 31 years based in Canada and the United States. The first part of her career focused on environmental characteristics and impacts, mitigation approaches and regulatory approvals for pesticides in Canada. Since 1992, her emphasis has been on the development of science-based regulatory systems and stewardship approaches as well as the pursuit of regulatory approvals for products of biotechnology globally. She led the team that earned the approval of the first LibertyLink™ canola in Canada and has since been involved in development of more than 30 products of ag biotechnology including corn, cotton, soybeans, and rice. She served for five years as the Global Head of Stewardship and a further nine years as Global Head of Regulatory Affairs for the Bayer CropScience, Seeds Business. Margaret retired in 2014 and currently resides in Ontario where she is involved with several charitable groups.

Bill Lucas

Bill Lucas is Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Plant Biology at the University of California, Davis. He also currently holds academic positions as Chair Professor at National Chung-Hsing University in Taiwan and Distinguished Guest Professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China. Dr. Lucas received his BSc (Hons) in 1971, his PhD in 1975 and his DSc in 1990, from the University of Adelaide. He was appointed to the faculty at UC Davis in 1977 where his research team has made seminal contributions to the field of plant biology. Dr. Lucas has co-authored over 250 articles and has served as senior editor for The Plant Cell and Journal of Integrative Plant Biology and Associate Editor for the Journal of Theoretical Biology. He is a Highly Cited Researcher (Original Member), has been awarded the ASPB Gibbs Medal and the Belgian Francqui Medal, and is a foreign member of the French National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, an Inaugural Fellow of the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB), and Honorary Life Member of the Australian Society of Plant Scientists.

Kiran Sharma

Dr. Kiran Sharma is the Principal Scientist (Cell & Molecular Biology) at ICRISAT, a non-profit organization that conducts agricultural research for development in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa with a wide array of partners throughout the world. Dr. Sharma earned a Master’s degree in plant physiology from the CCS Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar in India and a PhD from the University of Delhi. During his postdoctoral work at the University of Calgary in Canada, Dr. Sharma worked on various aspects of cell and developmental biology and biotechnology. In 1991, ICRISAT with the responsibility to develop transformation systems for ICRISAT’s mandate legume crops, as well as providing group leadership for transformation work and the development of strategies for collaborative research with advanced research institutes and national agricultural research institutions of various developing countries in the semi-arid tropics. Dr. Sharma has been involved in conceptualizing and setting up of an Agri-Business Incubator (ABI) at ICRISAT, and in the conceptualization of a Platform for the Translational Research on Transgenic Crops (PTTC), which has recently been established at ICRISAT.

Joerg Bohlmann

Joerg Bohlmann is a Professor and Distinguished University Scholar in the Michael Smith Laboratories at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. He is co-director of the UBC Genome Science and Technology Graduate Program. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellow of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada, Feodor Lynen Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and Fellow of the German Scholarship Foundation. He received his PhD from the Technical University Braunschweig, Germany, and was a postdoctoral fellow at Washington State University and group leader at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology.

Gijs van Rooijen

Gijs van Rooijen graduated with a MSc in Molecular Sciences from the Agricultural University in Wageningen in 1989 and a PhD in Plant Molecular Biology from the University of Calgary in 1993. Dr. van Rooijen joined SemBioSys Genetics in 1995 where he advanced to Director of Cellular and Molecular Biology. In January 2003, Dr. van Rooijen assumed the position of Chief Scientific Officer with Genome Prairie, and in 2006 he made the transition into his current position as Chief Scientific Officer for Genome Alberta. Dr. van Rooijen is (co)author of numerous reviewed publications and an (co)inventor on 25 issued US patents. During his doctoral studies, Dr. van Rooijen received several awards and fellowships, including the University of Calgary “Silver Anniversary Graduate Fellowship” (awarded to the four top-ranked doctoral students). From 1997-2006, he was an Adjunct Professor at the University of Calgary.