Allan Wenck is Head of Trait Validation (US) for Bayer CropSciences. He received a B.A. degree in Biology and Environmental Studies (1985) from Warren Wilson College. He continued his studies at the University of Tennessee (Knoxville) in the lab of Dr. Bob Conger. He was awarded a M.S. degree in Life Sciences (with a focus on Plant Physiology and Genetics) for his work on endogenous auxin and cytokinin levels and their influence on the embryogenic response of Orchardgrass cultivars in tissue culture (1988). He worked for 3 years at Clemson University’s Edisto Research and Education Center doing field based research primarily on insect pests in cotton and soybean. He received his PhD in Biological Sciences (with a focus on Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology) from the University of South Carolina (Columbia) in 1997. Allan went on to conduct postdoctoral research at North Carolina State University. He developed an Agrobacterium based system for transformation of Norway Spruce and Loblolly Pine embryogenic suspension cultures in the lab of Ron Sederoff and Ross Whetten. He joined Novartis (later Syngenta) where he worked on monocot transformation (corn, wheat, barley and rice). He later moved to BASF Plant Science where he worked on corn transformation. He also spent two years in Melbourne, Australia working on wheat transformation as part of a collaboration. He then moved to Bayer Crop Science where he was head of the Cell Biology group at the Morrisville Innovation Center prior to his promotion to his current position. Allan received his J.D. degree from the North Carolina Central University School of Law Evening Program (2013) while continuing his work at Bayer. Allan has authored many articles and book chapters on transformation and cell biology. He has been an active reviewer for In Vitro – Plant, Plant Cell Reports, Plant Cell Tissue and Organ Culture and various other journals. He has been a very active member of the Society for In Vitro biology and was Program Chair for the plant section in 2005. He has convened numerous sessions in the plant section over the past 20 years. He was Vice President for the Society from 2014-2016 and has won both the Society Distinguished Service Award (2016) and Distinguished Scientist Award (2017). Over the years, Allan has helped efforts to raise over $150,000 for the Society as Section Chair and Vice President.
Dr. Addy Alt-Holland is an Associate Professor and a cancer researcher at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine (TUSDM). Prior to that, she was an Assistant Professor and a Research Associate at TUSDM, a Post-Doc Associate at SUNY at Stony Brook, and a Post-Doc Fellow at Bar-Ilan University in Israel. She earned her Ph.D. degree in Molecular and Cell Biology from Bar-Ilan University, where she also received her M.Sc and B.Sc degrees. She is
the Director of multiple courses for undergraduate and post-graduate students at TUSDM, and serves as a member of Thesis committees, Research Committees and different Tufts University-Wide committees. She serves as a Board member and a co-Chair of the Mentoring Circles Program of the Association for Women in Science, the Massachusetts Chapter, in which I mentor post-docs from Tufts, Harvard, MIT, Brandeis, UMASS and affiliated hospitals in the Boston area. She has experience and expertise in the fields of cell and molecular biology, biochemistry and bioengineering of 3-D tissue models for studying human cancer biology. She has previously served as a Board member and Program Chair of the SIVB Conference in North Carolina in 2017.
Piero Barone received his PhD from the University of Perugia, Italy in 2002 where he worked on the cytological and molecular characterization of a female sterility trait in alfalfa (M. sativa L.). During his PhD program, as part of an exchange program with the University of Georgia, he spent one year in Wayne Parrott lab where he developed transgenic alfalfa lines expressing the bacterial citrate synthase gene for aluminum tolerance. In 2003 he became a member of the lab of Jack Widholm at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign as Postdoctoral Research Associate working on a novel selection system based on a feedback-insensitive anthranilate synthase α-subunit of tobacco (ASA2) for nuclear and plastid transformation. In 2008 he joined Chromatin as Research Scientist where he designed and validated multiple selection and transgenic event regeneration protocols with a variety of corn, sorghum and sugarcane germplasms with both the company’s mini‐chromosome technology and other gene constructs. He coordinated the activities for both internal and external corn transformation projects and contributed to the isolation of centromere‐associated sequences for cotton, sorghum and sugarcane. In 2014 he joined the Monocot Transformation Team at Dow AgroSciences where he worked on multiple trait discovery projects for the evaluation in maize of new mode of action for the below ground product concept. In his role he also managed transformation programs to support various technology development projects using the Zinc Finger gene targeting tool. In 2018 he relocated to Johnston where he joined the Molecular Engineering group at Corteva Agriscience leading the transformation activities for the genome editing technology development in maize. Piero has been an active member of the Society where he has contributed in many roles: he has coordinated the Plant Biotechnology Post-Doctoral Oral Presentation Competition, chaired multiple sessions in the Annual Scientific Meeting and served on both the Plant Biotechnology Section Program and Development Committee (2017-2019).
|John W. Harbell
JHarbell Consulting LLC
John Harbell runs a small consulting company providing toxicology/product safety support for cosmetic and personal care companies. He is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Dermatology at University of Texas, Southwestern Medical School. Before starting his own company, he was a Principal Scientist with the Product Safety Department of Mary Kay, Inc. He focused on the ingredient safety [toxicology] programs. In particular, he worked to incorporate in vitro methods for the prediction of topical toxicity and dermal sensitization into the preclinical safety program. Previous to that, he served as Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer for the Institute for In Vitro Sciences (IIVS) where he directed laboratory operations and developed in vitro testing methodologies. He managed multi-laboratory, GLP compliant assay validation programs intended for submission to regulatory authorities in the United States and Europe. John obtained his PhD from the University of California at Santa Cruz and served for eight years in the Army clinical research program before joining Microbiological Associates as a study director in genetic toxicology. In 1997, he became a cofounder of IIVS. He has also served as an invited expert on national (ICCVAM, NCI, and USEPA) and European (ECVAM and COLIPA) expert panels. John has been actively involved with SIVB since graduate school. He has served on the Board of Directors (2000-2002, 2004-2008, 2016-2018), President- Elect (2016-2018), Vice President (1993-1994, 2006-2008), Vertebrate Section Chair (1996-1998), Cellular Toxicology Section Chair (1998-2000), and as Associate Editor of In Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology – Animal, from 2006 to the present. He was Program Cchair for the 2015 annual meeting.
|Barbara B. Doonan
New York Medical College
Barbara B. Doonan is a biochemist with extensive industrial and academic experience in Toxicology and Biotechnology. Upon retirement as Principal Scientist at UST, enjoying a new freedom to pursue interests in the fields of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Barbara assumed a voluntary position at New York Medical College in Valhalla, NY as a Research Fellow collaborating with Dr. Joseph Wu, Vice Chairman and Graduate Program Director. Research interests focus on phytochemicals and chronic disease. At UST since 1989, her broad background and expertise in toxicology, biochemistry, and molecular biology were applied to address company interests in areas such as wine, smokeless tobacco and health. Prior to joining UST, she was a visiting scientist at Cold Spring Harbor researching cell cycle control in the adenovirus E1A system utilizing recombinant technologies. Her career in industry initiated in 1979 at General Foods Corporation (GF). As a Research Scientist in the GF Nutrition and Health division, she directed preclinical animal toxicology GLP studies, pharmacokinetic and metabolism studies to elucidate mechanisms of action and studies designed to determine carcinogenic and mutagenic potential of various compounds e.g. halogenated hydrocarbons. Many projects supported GF’s domestic and international coffee businesses. Her in-depth knowledge of the coffee crop was well utilized by GF Biotechnology Programs to direct studies applying cell culture and microbial fermentation technologies for production of natural compounds. Both toxicological and biotechnology programs entailed responsibilities involving various government regulatory agencies e.g. FDA and USDA for compliance with existing regulations and in the development of regulations for successful genetic manipulations.In addition to teaching duties while a graduate student, after receiving her doctoral degree from CUNY, Dr. Doonan taught General Biology, Human Anatomy and Physiology, and Electron Microscopy and mentored undergraduate research projects at William Paterson College in Wayne, NJ.
Sukhpreet Sandhu received a B.S. degree (1999) from Panjab University, India and M.S. degree in Biochemistry (2002) from Punjab Agricultural University, India. She moved to the USA to pursue further graduate studies at University of Florida. Her dissertation work on genetic transformation and risk assessment of transgenes in an apomictic crop led to four publications. Immediately after her graduation in 2008, Sukhpreet ventured into quantitative genetics for her post-doctoral work at University of Georgia. During this time, she worked on elucidation of genes involved in high biomass production in wild sunflower. In 2010, Sukhpreet joined Bayer CropScience Vegetable Seeds as a Cell Biology Scientist. Here she has developed a strong portfolio for Cell Biology technologies in vegetable crops including tomato, onion and melon. Sukhpreet is currently heading the Vegetable Seeds Cell Biology Department at Bayer. She has also been an active member of the society since 2008. She has contributed to the society in many roles as a volunteer, has coordinated student oral competitions (2010-2012) and also served on the Plant Biotechnology Section program committee (2012-2015). In 2016, Sukhpreet was elected as Vice-President, SIVB. She received the Young Scientist Award by SIVB in 2017.
Iowa State University
Kan Wang graduated with her BS in Biochemistry from Fudan University in Shanghai, China. She was sponsored first by the Chinese government then by the Rockefeller Foundation to conduct graduate study under the supervision of Drs. Marc Van Montagu (2013 World Food Prize Laureate) and late Jeff Schell in Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium. Her PhD study and postdoctoral research were focused on the molecular mechanisms of the T-DNA transfer from Agrobacterium tumefaciens to plant cells. She is regarded as one of the pioneers in understanding the mechanism of DNA transfer from Agrobacterium to plants (Wang et al., Cell, 1984; Science 1987), a fundamental knowledge that became the corner stone for building of tools for plant genetic transformation. Dr. Wang spent 7 years in ICI seeds (now Syngenta) as a project leader in genetic transformation of corn and soybean. Dr. Wang joined Iowa State University Agronomy Department in December of 1995 as the director of the newly established Plant Transformation Facility (PTF). She was then promoted to a tenured associate professor in 2002, professor in 2006, and Global professor of Biotechnology in 2015. She serves as Director for Center for Plant Transformation and Co-Director of Crop Bioengineering Center. Dr. Wang’s current research interests include exploring novel plant genetic transformation and genome editing technologies, investigating off-target activities of CRISPR/Cas9 and understanding of functions of small non-coding RNAs of Agrobacterium.
University of Michigan Medical School
Michael has over 25 years’ experience in in vitro guided research. His current research examines colon stem cell characterization, epithelial cell differentiation, and growth control using a sophisticated 3-D colonic organoid culture model of both normal, adenomatous, and cancer tissues. The human colonoid model is being used as a platform to study a wide array of colon biology topics: the progression of colon neoplasia initiation/development, colon tight junction permeability, and the preclinical assessment of potential cancer risk reductive agents. He was recently appointed Associate Director of a new initiative at the University of Michigan Medical School, the Translational Tissue Modeling Laboratory (TTML). The laboratory, founded by Jason Spence, PhD, has as its mission the goal of enabling the research community to implement a diverse range of in vitro grown primary human tissues for discovery-based research, as well as personalized and regenerative medicine. Michael has 48 peer-reviewed publications and a book chapter, Human Colon Tissue in Organ Culture, In Davies J (Ed.), of the University of Edinburgh, Replacing animal models: a practical guide to creating and using biomimetic alternatives. He received his bachelor of science in 1983 from the University of Michigan and continued to Morocco as a marine fisheries advisor for Peace Corps, and to Antigua as an aquaculture specialist as part of a joint Peace Corps/Smithsonian Mariculture Project. He was the first recipient of Duke Marine Laboratory C.G. Bookhout Scholarship as well as the Bermuda Biological Station Scholarship. He is currently a member of the Society for In Vitro Biology and the American Association for Cancer Research. Support in part for his research has come from the NCI P50 CA130810 GI SPORE (Gastrointestinal Specialized Program of Research Excellence), NCI P30 CA046592-26S3 (Organoid Culture and Genetic Characterization of Colon Crypts, Adenoma and Adenocarcinoma), NIH R21 CA181855 (Isolation and in vitro maintenance of intact colonic crypts from normal human colon), Association for International Cancer Research (AICR; 2011-13; Dietary Trace Metals and Colon Cancer Prevention), and the National Cancer Institute (NIH HHS R21 CA140760; Dietary Marine Algae in Colon Cancer Chemoprevention).
Cynthia is an Entomologist with USDA, ARS at the Biological Control of Insects Research Lab, Columbia, MO. She has worked in insect cell culture for over 30 years and generated many unique and valuable cell lines. Cynthia has collaborated with a variety of industry partners in her endeavor to establish insect cell culture systems useful to the agricultural sector, with some of her lines also proving relevant to medical research (including vaccine development). Numerous scientists from around the world have benefited from her expertise via on-site or virtual training in insect cell line establishment and their application to a variety of biological problems. She is well versed in proteomics, determining the impact of signaling molecules on the proteome of cell lines to advance the understanding of insect immunity. Other research areas of interest have included using in vitro approaches to study virus-cell interactions, insect digestive physiology and hormone biosynthesis. Cynthia has been a member of SIVB since 1990, which has included serving as chair/co-chair of a number of International Conferences on Invertebrate and Fish Cell Culture (as part of the In Vitro Biology World Congresses). She has also chaired/co-chaired several In Vitro Biology Meetings, as well as served as section program chair for both the Invertebrate and IVACS sections. Other SIVB activities include: Co-Chair (IVACS Section); Board of Directors, Member-At-Large; Chair (Invertebrate Section); Vice Chair (Invertebrate Section); Secretary (Invertebrate Section). Cynthia has been an active participant on the SIVB publications committee since 2008 and has been an associated editor of In Vitro Dev Biol-Animal since that time as well.
Todd is the Research Director for the Crop Genome Engineering group at Corteva Agriscience™, located in Johnston, IA. The Crop Genome Engineering group performs transformation and genome editing in various crop species, including corn, soybean, wheat, canola, sunflower and sorghum, in support of all Corteva biotech trait programs. In addition, the Crop Genome Engineering research team explores new technologies and methods to improve the transformation and editing processes, such as the use of morphogenic genes to enhance transformation and the discovery of new microbes for transformation, eg. Ochrobactrum haywardense. Todd joined Corteva (then DuPont Pioneer) in December, 2010 after 7 years with BASF Plant Science in Research Triangle Park, NC, as the Tech Center Leader for Cell Biology. Prior to that, Todd was
the Director of Forest Biotechnology at Weyerhaeuser Company in Federal Way, Washington. Todd began his career as a scientist at DuPont in 1989. Todd received his Ph.D. in Plant Developmental Biology from the University of California at Davis in 1988. Todd has been a member of the Society for In Vitro Biology for over 30 years and has served on the Board of Directors as a Member-at-Large from 1999-2005 and as President-Elect, President and Past-President of the Society from 2006-2012. Todd has been on numerous SIVB Program Committees, including serving as the SIVB Program Chair. Todd has been an Associate Editor for In Vitro-Plant since 2001. In 2007, Todd was honored and delighted to receive the Fellow Award from the Society.
|Michael J. Fay
Michael J. Fay received his BS degree in Microbiology from the University of Maine (Orono, ME) in 1987, and his PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Mississippi (Oxford, MS) in 1992. From 1992 to 1997, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Endocrine Physiology Training Program at Dartmouth Medical School (Lebanon, NH). In 1997, he accepted an Assistant Professorship in the Department of Pharmacology at Midwestern University (Downers Grove, IL), and in 2002 he was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure. In addition to his academic appointment in the Pharmacology Department of the Medical School, in 2006, he was appointed as Director of the Biomedical Sciences Program at Midwestern University. As Program Director, he manages the lecture-based Master of Arts in Biomedical Sciences Program, and the research-based Master of Biomedical Sciences Program. In 2011, he was promoted to Professor at Midwestern University. As a Postdoctoral Fellow, he was the recipient of a NIH Institutional training grant postdoctoral fellowship, and an individual postdoctoral fellowship from the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program. Since joining the faculty at Midwestern University, he has been the recipient of a Research Career Enhancement Award from the American Physiological Society and two R15 AREA grants from the National Cancer Institute. Michael’s current research interests include examining the expression and function of the Cullin-5 gene in both normal and cancer cells, and examining the role of microRNAs in cadmium toxicity. He has published 24 peer-reviewed research and educational articles. Michael has been a member of the Society for In Vitro Biology (SIVB) since 1991. His Leadership roles in the SIVB include serving a term as the Chair of the In Vitro Animal Cell Sciences (IVACS) Section, and as Secretary on the Board of Directors. In addition, he has served as Publications Chair, Co-Editor for the In Vitro Report, and as a member of the Publications Committee.
|Wayne A. Parrott
Public Policy Chair
University of Georgia
Wayne Parrott received a degree in agronomy from the University of Kentucky, and MS and PhD degrees in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He joined the faculty at the University of Georgia in 1988. Since then he has been conducting research on the development, use and safety of transgenic (i.e., GM) crop plants, using grant monies from USDA-NIFA, NSF, DOE and the United Soybean Board. He has published a guide for environmental risk assessment of GMOs, along with ~ 110 journal articles in refereed publications and 14 book chapters. He has served as elected chair of the biotechnology section of the Crop Science Society of America and of the plant section of the Society for In Vitro Biology, and is a Fellow of both of these societies. He is actively engaged in training graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, and teaches graduate-level courses in genetics and undergraduate courses in agroecology and sustainable agriculture. He has traveled extensively throughout Latin America and other countries, and advised legislators and regulators in the various countries on the requisites for a functional regulatory system that ensures the safety of GM products. He volunteered for 6 years as a scientific advisor to the Biotechnology Committee of the International Life Sciences Institute, which served to bring the best science available to help guide those who formulate regulatory policies.
Dr. Mae Ciancio is a tenured Associate Professor and MBS Coordinator in the Biomedical Sciences Program at Midwestern University. She’s been an active member of SIVB for approximately 8 years. During that time, Mae has co-convened several plenary and IVACS symposia sessions, presented posters and promoted her research students’ participation in the society. Most recently, from 2018-2020, Mae served at the IVACS Co-chair (Meeting). Mae is a whole animal Physiologist by training, having received her PhD in Physiology from Loyola University Chicago, under the mentorship of James P. Filkins. Mae completed her post-doctoral training at the University of Chicago in the Department of Medicine/GI in the laboratory of Dr. Eugene B. Chang. Mae joined the faculty of Midwestern University’s Biomedical Sciences program, under the Directorship of Michael Fay, in 2008. Mae’s laboratory actively trains Biomedical Sciences, medical and dental students in animal and cellular physiology. Her lab currently is investigating the role of inducible heat shock protein in preventing diet-induced obesity, with special reference on the role of intestinal microbial balance and inflammation. Mae’s laboratory also has an active animal model of oral squamous cell carcinoma to provide dental students an opportunity to perform discipline-specific research. Mae teaches Research Design and Methodology to Biomedical Sciences, Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant and Dental students at Midwestern University. She offers an elective course on the role of intestinal microbial balance in health and disease, as well as providing pathophysiology lectures to Biomedical Sciences Students and Physical Therapy students. Mae is passionate about empowering students to become engaged in laboratory research as a means to contribute to scientific progress and improved clinical care.
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