Dr. Marc C. Albertsen
Research Director of the Research for Enhanced Adaptation and Crop Hybridization (REACH) group
Dr Albertsen is a DuPont Fellow and Research Director of the Research for Enhanced Adaptation and Crop Hybridization (REACH) group at DuPont Pioneer, a research discovery group that addresses challenges of crop production in the next decade by working to expand the environmental adaptation of maize and to increase the reproductive productivity of crops in general. He is also the Pioneer lead for two philanthropic, multi-partner, public-private-partnerships, each with the goal of improving the lives of subsistence farmers in Africa. One of these is the Africa Biofortified Sorghum (ABS) project, which is developing nutritionally-enhanced sorghum to enhance the lives of people dependent upon sorghum for their staple diet. The other is the Improved Maize for African Soils (IMAS) project, which is improving the nitrogen use efficiency of maize for subsistence farmers through a combination of conventional, molecular, and transgenic breeding. A third public-private partnership is under development. Dr. Albertsen has over 33 years of research and leadership experience at DuPont Pioneer in reproductive biology and agronomic traits with a background that combines genetics, cytogenetics, crop breeding, cytology, molecular biology, and plant physiology. He holds a PhD from the University of Minnesota.
Dr. Shai Joshua Lawit
Dr Lawit is an early mid-career stage Research Scientist. Shai has been engaged in commercial research and development for self-reproducing hybrids for over seven years and is a leading inventor of 11 issued and pending patent families in this field. In addition to his internal research program, in recent years, he has been developing and managing external research collaborations and representing the research program as an invited speaker at numerous international conferences. Prior to his work in reproductive biology, he had 10 years of research experience in plant biology encompassing protein biochemistry, transcriptional regulation and manipulation of signal transduction pathways to manipulate plant architecture and increase harvest index. Shai has been identified as a future leader and is engaged in DuPont’s accelerated leadership development program.
Dr. Ping Che
Research Scientist, Biofortified Sorghum Project
Ping has been involved in this project since 2011. Ping’s responsibilities include overseeing and organizing sorghum transformation, designing experiments, conducting research and ensuring the progress of the project to meet the milestone timelines. Previous to his involvement in the Biofortified Sorghum Project, Ping received his B.S. degree in Chemistry from Lanzhou University, China; his M.S. degree in Biology from Truman State University; and his Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry from Iowa State University. He completed a post-doc at ISU and became an Assistant Scientist in the Plant Sciences Institute of ISU working with Dr. Stephen Howell on research related to abiotic stress, shoot development and signal transduction. In 2007, he became a Research Assistant Professor in the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology, University of Western Australia located in Perth Australia. Before coming to Pioneer, he worked in Dr. Joanne Chory’s lab at the Salk Institute as a visiting scientist.