2015 Agenda

Symposium on “Plant Biotechnology for Health and Sustainability”

Michigan State University
Molecular Plant Sciences Building, Room 1200
October 9 - 10


Friday Morning, October 9, 2015

1415 Biomedical Physical Science Building.

Students and Postdoctoral Trainees interested in all areas of the biological sciences are invited to participate in a series of events aimed at helping you explore career options. It is being held as part of the Symposium on Plant Biotechnology, but you must register for this event separately. Click here to register and select roundtable discussion sessions.

Session One – Careers and Career Paths (for detailed agenda click here)
8:30 AM Room BPS 1415

Welcome, Rob Last

“Chance favors the prepared: Functional unstable elements in DNA and in careers”
Marcelo Vinces, Director, Center for Learning, Education and Research in the Sciences, Oberlin College (host: Dan Lybrand)

 “Oh, the Places You Will Go:  Non-science career options with a scientific degree”
Melissa D. Ho, Managing Director, Africa, Millennium Challenge Corporation (host: Christina Azodi)

Session Two, Roundtable Discussions
10:00 AM Various Locations (details will be communicated to registrants)

  1. Research Intensive University Faculty Track
  2. Biotechnology Industry Opportunities
  3. Outreach and Communications Careers
  4. Careers in Government     

Friday Afternoon, October 9, 2015

1200 Molecular Plant Sciences Building

1:40 Welcome: Rob Last,  PBHS Program Director

Session Chair:  Tim Whitehead, Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, MSU 

Next Generation Biotech Crops

1:50 Richard Trethewey, Vice President, Project Management Office, BASF Plant Science LP, “Innovation in Plant Metabolic Engineering” (host: Emily Wrenbeck)

2:30 Lyle Crossland, Director, Agronomic Traits, Monsanto Corporation, “Sustainable Production Agriculture” (host: Colleen Friel)

3:10 Roger Thilmony, USDA-Agriculture Research Service, Crop Improvement and Utilization Research Unit, “New Biotechnological Tools Enabling Crop Improvement” (host: Anastasiya Lavell)

3:50 Coffee Break

Session Chair:  Gregg Howe, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, MSU 

Amino Acids and Peptides: Nutrients and Toxins

4:10 Jonathan Walton, Department of Plant Biology and Plant Research Laboratory, MSU “Amatoxins and phallotoxins: Ribosomally-encoded cyclic peptides from mushrooms”

4:50 Hiroshi Maeda, Department of Botany, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Diversification of tyrosine biosynthetic pathway in legumes (host: Brian St. Aubin)

5:30 Poster session and mixer, Atrium, Molecular Plant Sciences Building

6:30 Dinner - all participants and guests welcome, Atrium Molecular Plant Science Building.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

8:00 Continental breakfast, Atrium, Molecular Plant Sciences Building

9:00 Symposium begins, Room 1200 Molecular Plant Sciences Building

Session Chair:  Gregg Howe, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, MSU 

Discovery and Engineering Plant Alkaloid Pathways

9:00 Cornelius Barry, Department of Horticulture, MSU, “Tropane alkaloid biosynthesis: cracking a century old problem”

9:40 Peter Facchini, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Calgary “Milk of the Poppy: Alkaloid Biosynthesis in Plants and Beyond” (host: Bryan Leong)

10:20 Coffee Break

Session Chair:  Cornelius Barry, Department of Horticulture, MSU

Plants, Diet, and Human Health

10:50 Andrea Doseff, Department of Molecular Genetics & Davis Heart & Lung Institute, Ohio State University, “Novel mechanisms of dietary flavonoids revealed through a comprehensive genome-wide approach: implications for cancer and inflammation” (host: Tomomi Takeuchi)

11:30 Cathie Martin, Department of Metabolic Biology, John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK, “Engineering metabolism for healthier, more sustainable tomatoes” (host: Teresa Clark)

12:20 Closing Comments: Rob Last, Department of Plant Biology and Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, MSU