Detlef Weigel, Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Germany OPENING KEYNOTE
Detlef Weigel, in the Opening Keynote (6 July), will speak about his natural genetic variation work & about how the science community has been engaging with governments to ensure that Europe can benefit from genetic variation that occurs naturally & that induced by genome editing. Detlef, a German-American scientist, is currently Executive Director of the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology. He is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and the Royal Society, and recipient of several scientific awards. The first major finding from his lab was that an Arabidopsis gene could dramatically accelerate flowering of trees; this established a proof of concept for Arabidopsis genetics as a platform for biotechnological discoveries. His group later discovered the first plant microRNA mutant and identified the factor that we now know to be the long sought-after mobile flower-inducing signal. Detlef was also one of the first to exploit natural genetic variation for understanding how the environment affects plant development. In recent years, this work has come to incorporate questions at the interface of evolution and ecology: How can wild plants adapt to climate change, and how do they manage to keep their pathogens at bay? In addition to hypothesis-driven research, his group has a long history of providing new technologies and resources to the community. This has culminated in a collaborative effort to sequence the genomes of over 1,000 natural A. thalianastrains (The 1001 Genomes Project).
Joanne Chory, Salk Institute, USA CLOSING KEYNOTE
Joanne Chory, in the Closing Keynote (10 July), will speak about the Harnessing Plants Initiative (HPI) she is leading, an innovative, scalable and bold approach to fight climate change by optimizing a plant’s natural ability to capture and store carbon and adapt to diverse climate conditions.
“The HPI led by Chory, executive director of the Harnessing Plants Initiative, and Director of Salk’s Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology Laboratory, will receive funding of more than $35 million from over 10 individuals and organizations through The Audacious Project, a highly competitive program housed at TED, the nonprofit devoted to ideas worth spreading. The collective commitments represent one of the largest gifts to a single project in the Institute’s history.”
Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Cell Differentiation and Intracellular Signaling Katie Dehesh, UC Riverside, USA Roger Deal, Emory University, USA Mary Gehring, MIT-Whitehead, USA
Intercellular Communication Tessa Burch-Smith, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA Sota Fujii, University of Tokyo and NAIST, Japan Ji-Young Lee, Seoul National University, South Korea
New Frontiers in Plant-Biotic Interactions Ken Shirasu, RIKEN, Japan Xin-Li, University of British Columbia, Canada Noah Whiteman, UC Berkeley, USA
Plasticity of Plant Development In Response to the Environment Miltos Tsiantis, Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research, Germany Kathleen Donohue, Duke University, USA Yuling Jiao, IGDB- CAS, China
Systems Approaches to Understanding and Engineering Plant Biology Elizabeth Sattely, Stanford University, USA David Savage, UC Berkeley, USA Naomi Nakayama, Imperial College London, UK
Post-transcriptional Mechanisms of Gene Regulation Steven Spoel, University of Edinburgh, UK Hongwei Guo, Southern China University of Science and Technology, China Greg Vert, Laboratoire de Recherche en Sciences Végétales, France
Translating Research Into Impact Vi Shukla, Gates Foundation, USA Pam Ronald, UC Davis, USA (TBA)