Pim holds an MSc in Biology and in Chemistry and a PhD
in molecular virology. He started his professional career
as tomatologist in Wageningen, whereby he initiated
research on the usage of molecular markers in tomato
breeding. Later he moved to more basic science as
Assoc. Prof. at Wageningen University, whereby he
focused on the principles of disease resistance breeding.
He also coordinated a national genomics programme in
tomato and moved in 2006 to the seed industry as head
R&D of DeRuiterSeeds. In 2008, together with three
colleagues, he founded Solynta, a company dedicated
to the development and implementation of diploid
hybrid breeding in potato. Recently, Solynta has
developed the highly homozygous and fertile diploid
inbred line, ‘Solyntus’, that is available as the new
standard reference genome for scientific research.
Title presentation: Diploid hybrid breeding: a paradigm shift in potato breeding.
Dr. Ajjamada C. Kushalappa, is a Professor at McGill University, Quebec, Canada. The current focus of his research is on the identification of resistance genes in plants against biotic stress based on comprehensive transcriptomics and semi- comprehensive metabolomics. His lab identifies the mutated genes in susceptible commercial cultivars and replaces the SNPs from resistant genotypes based on genome editing using CRISPR-Cas9 system. He was an invited speaker at several national and international conferences. He has trained more than 50 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. He has published more than 100 papers and was awarded Dr. and Mrs. Bailey award, by the Canadian Phytopathological Society, for an exceptional and distinguished contribution to plant pathology.
Dr Sanjeev Kumar Sharma is a Molecular Geneticist at The James Hutton Institute, UK with over 20 years’ experience in potato research. Dr Sharma originally came to the UK on a prestigious Commonwealth Scholarship award to pursue his PhD on the development and molecular characterization of somatic embryogenesis in potato. A novel outcome of the project was the development of a prototype for rapid and efficient multiplication of potato tuber seed material using somatic embryo-derived synthetic seeds. Following this, Dr Sharma was actively involved in the international potato genome sequencing project and construction of the reference potato chromosome-scale pseudomolecules. His work encompasses various aspects of potato genetics and genomics including next-generation sequencing applications (sequence-based genotyping, whole-exome capture and whole-genome resequencing), bioinformatics, germplasm characterization, genome-wide association studies, development of diagnostic marker assays for target traits. Current work is focussed on exploiting novel genetic and genotyping approaches for trait analyses and allele mining in potato targeting important agronomic and processing traits such as tuber dormancy and sprout elongation. On the whole Dr Sharma’s broader focus of work is to exploit genetic and genomic technologies for furthering potato research and accelerate breeding efficiencies in potato.
Dr John Bradshaw spent the whole of his 34 year career (1975-2009) as a plant breeder and geneticist at what is now the James Hutton Institute in Dundee, Scotland; having studied genetics and applied genetics in England at the Universities of Cambridge (BA), Birmingham (MSc) and East Anglia (PhD). He worked on barley, brassicas (kale, swedes and turnips) and potatoes; doing research on the applications of genetics to plant breeding as well as breeding finished cultivars. He was particularly interested in methods of kale population improvement, the genetic basis of hybrid vigour in swedes, the theory and practice of quantitative trait locus analysis in tetraploid potatoes, and breeding for quantitative resistance to pests and diseases (clubroot in kale, powdery mildew in swedes, and late blight and cyst nematodes in potatoes). He has written extensively on plant breeding and genetics and is widely travelled. He has been an Honorary Fellow of the Indian Potato Association since 2008. In 2010 he received the British Potato Industry Award in recognition of his contribution to potato research and knowledge transfer. Throughout his career he was a member of EUCARPIA, the European Association for Research on Plant Breeding, and having served as Chairperson of the Section Potatoes was made an honorary member in May 2012. He is a member of EAPR, the European Association for Potato Research, and is currently Co-ordinating Editor of their journal Potato Research.
Dr.Balaji completed his under graduation and post graduation in Agriculture at TNAU – Coimbatore.
He later joined Indian Agricultural Research Institute – New Delhi, which is the premier institute for
Agricultural Research in India where he was awarded Doctorate in Microbiology.
He worked as a Scientist under ARS system for two years and then moved to various private organisations specialising in the fields of application oriented biotechnology.
Currently he is heading the R&D Centre – Bioproducts Division of Coromandel International Limited
He has put in 27 years of service in the field of Microbial biotechnology covering Agriculture, Industrial, Human Health and Veterinary areas. He has worked on R&D, Product Development, Manufacturing and Marketing of microbial biopesticides, microbial inoculants, yeast and enzyme based animal feed supplements. Dr.Balaji established a state-of-the-art fermentation based microbial biopesticide and microbial biofertilizers facility at Haridwar. He has developed many novel bio control agents which are under field trials.
He has two Global patents to his credit
Dr.Balaji has published many articles in various journals and made presentations in many scientific conferences in Switzerland, Poland and India.
Donald MacKenzie is an international expert in regulatory systems for agriculture, including environmental risk assessment, biosafety and food safety assessments. His extensive experience in plant product development and global regulatory processes aligns with the Institute’s commitment to collaborate with international and local partner organizations to deliver crops with improved nutritional content and disease resistance to places where people are in most need. Don joined the Danforth Center from the International Rice Research Institute where he spent three years as a Regulatory Affairs and Stewardship Leader on the Golden Rice Project. His proven track record of working with diverse stakeholder groups to achieve progressive policy outcomes was critical in his role as the Canola Global Regulatory Lead at Dupont Pioneer and Regulatory Affairs Leader for Dupont Pioneer Canada, where he provided direction and coordination across all regulatory and registration activities for canola globally. Prior, he was the Executive Vice President at Agbios, Inc., and coordinated biotechnology policy within the Health Protection Branch as the Health Canada Head, Science Policy Division. In 2012, Don was named the International 2012 Leadership and Excellence in Agriculture by CropLife. He received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the University of British Columbia, Canada.
A native of Ooty in the Nilgiris, Tamilnadu, Professor Gonsalves studied in local schools in Ooty. After graduation from Breeks Memorial School, Ooty, he joined IIT Madras, where he completed his B.Tech in Electronics. He continued his education in Electrical Engineering, first at Rice University in Houston, where he earned his MS and then at Stanford University for his Ph.D. During his Ph.D., he did path-breaking experimental research at Stanford and Xerox PARC that established the capabilities of the then-nascent Ethernet data LAN for real-time voice traffic.
He began his career in teaching as an Assistant Professor in the Computer Science Department in WPI, Worcester, Massachusetts. In 1989, he joined the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Madras. He served IIT Madras for 21 years, becoming Professor and Head. He also served as Head of the PG Senapathy Centre for Computing Resources. On 15th January 2010, he took charge as the first Director of IIT Mandi. Working in the areas of Networking and Distributed Applications, he has published over 50 papers in journals and conference proceedings and two chapters in books. He has guided/co-guided 4 PhD and 30+ MS theses, and 100+ M.Tech/B.Tech projects. After joining IIT-Madras, along with two colleagues, he started the TeNeT (Telecommunications and Computer Networks) Group with its vision of "world-class technology at an affordable price." Subsequently, he was a founding Director of the IIT-Madras Rural Technology Business Incubator (RTBI). Through TeNeT and RTBI, he helped IIT alumni, and others found R&D and service companies that work towards the TeNeT vision. He placed a particular emphasis on developing sophisticated telecom software with small-town talent. He accomplished this by choice of location in the Nilgiris, and by guiding programmers drawn mostly from towns and villages to develop telecom software products that are in commercial use in India and many other countries around the world.
Prof. Gonsalves is perhaps the first computer scientist working in academia in India to develop commercially successful products tailored to the needs of India. He was the software architect of award-winning telecom products, including the corDECT WLL, DIAS, NovaSwitch, and CygNet NMS. Some of these products are based on the pioneering soft-switching concept.
At IIT-Madras, he has been a Principal Investigator for R&D projects worth over Rs. 7 crores, with sponsors from India and the US. He was actively involved in many other projects with a total value of more than Rs. 15 crores. He collaborates with academia and industry in India, UK, US, Sweden, and Ireland.
An inspiring and popular teacher, Prof. Gonsalves, has taught diverse courses. These range from introduction to computing and programming for freshers to core courses such as computer organization, networks, and operating systems to electives including distributed systems, device drivers practicum, and network management systems.
Prof. Gonsalves is a Senior Member of ACM and a Member of IEEE and CSI.
Om Routray leads Global Marketing in SourceTrace Systems. He has a keen interest in and is passionate about bringing forth the social capital that technology can build. He brings fourteen years of experience in the fields of digital marketing, community building and knowledge creation.
In his last role, Om set up the agritech initiative at NASSCOM and led it for 2 years, building alliances and exploring global opportunities for the Indian agritech sector. He worked with central and state governments; domestic and foreign stakeholders to increase adoption of technology by Indian farmers. He is known as a thought leader in the sector and is interested in continuing his work on improving food, traceability and sustainability. He has been featured on ET Now’s Leaders of Tomorrow show. He regularly writes for various national and international publications.
MadhuJamallamudi is an innovative agribusiness leader who is passionate about transforming the global agriculture sector. Madhu came from a farming family in India and pursued his education and 19 years long career in agribusiness field. In the process, he developed a deep understanding of the challenges faced by farmers and is recognized as a visionary for his contribution of state-of-the-art solutions for complex problems. Currently, he leads AgrometricsInc as the Founder & CEO in developing and deploying technological & analytical solutions in the global food and agribusiness industries. Agrometrics won the Global Agriculture Award 2019 for its leadership in Information & Communication Technology in Agriculture sector. He speaks often at international conferences as an invited speaker, sharing his vision and solutions to improve sustainability, productivity, and profitability. Madhu had a Master’s in Agribusiness from Texas A&M University, College Station, USA and Bachelor’s in Agriculture Science from ANGRAU, India where he received the gold medal for highest academic excellence.