Issue 42.2 April - June 2008
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New Editor-in-Chief of IVP


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Meet the New Editor-in-Chief of In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology-Plant

Dwight Tomes

My professional career has spanned over 30 years in which technology I now use on a daily basis literally had no name when I first began. Most of my career has been at Pioneer Hy-bred International (a Dupont company) although the first seven years I was a Professor at the University of Guelph, in Ontario. Biotechnology, genetic transformation, transgenic trait analysis and gene sequence data from plants and animals were distant horizons in those early days. Technology development, primarily in developing practical and efficient genetic transformation in agronomic species such as corn, sorghum, sunflower, and alfalfa were the focus for the first 20 years or so. My focus for the past 10 years has been on trait development research that has made use of the techniques of in-vitro biology. Surprisingly, cellular and molecular technology developed for other purposes could be easily adapted for genetic transformation.

One of the first professional meetings I started attending regularly was the predecessor of the SIVB, the Tissue Culture Association meetings. After a few years, Gordon Sato asked if I would take responsibility for manuscripts in the plant area for the journal "In Vitro" which at that time consisted primarily of animal cell and tissue culture subject matter. The plant area grew steadily during those years to the point where a separate plant section developed into a separate journal under the leadership of Trevor Thorpe and Greg Phillips.

Among the most significant influences on my professional development in a commercial research environment has been the gift of several different assignments with different species with their own set of limitations and opportunities. During an extended period I worked with vegetable species that I've often termed my extended sabbatical. I learned several molecular techniques and became much more familiar with how to combine basic understanding with practical experimentation. This experience will be useful as the number of species in which cellular and molecular biology are introduced will only continue to increase!

Being mentored and acting as a mentor has been the most rewarding part of a scientific career that while long in years seems like such a short time. I recall vividly the mentors who were willing to share their wisdom at almost any time I wished as a graduate student, as a young professor, and as a scientist. Similarly, the best time I spend in my current position is the time I spend mentoring fresh new scientists whose enthusiasm and frustrations come in equal measure. I look upon the EIC role as a combination of learning and mentoring, especially since our journal is international in scope.

I'm just starting my stint as the EIC for In-Vitro Plant, and regard this position as one of the most challenging of my career. I strive for a combination of maintaining the high standards shown by my predecessors balanced with fairness to our authors who submit their work for publication in In-Vitro Plant.


Dwight Tomes, Editor-in-Chief, In Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology - Plant





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