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