Aug 222012

Which we promise you is a much greater thriller than ‘Sleepless in Seattle’. We’d like to share with you an exciting day in the life of our Comparative Genomics Leader, Rajeev Varshney (pictured). And yes, we just made up the word ‘genomicist’ featuring in this blogpost’s title: if those who study economics are ‘economists’, then it’s logical that those who study genomics are…’genomicists’ of course!

Rewind to early July, and here’s the extract from Rajeev’s jottings in his diary on that day…

10 July 2012 – I had a wonderful day in Seattle today: I delivered a presentation on Genomics and informatics for digitalisation of crop breeding in the brainstorming session on A digital revolution in agriculture at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The meeting was chaired by Bill Gates and attended by his former and present associates (high-level business executives, entrepreneurs, philanthropists) and selected officials from the Gates Foundation. Discussions centred on four main topics – architecture, genomics, ecological intensification and ICT for a digital revolution in agriculture.

I was privileged to be invited to the meeting as one of three specialists in genomics (the other two being Jun Wang, Executive Director of BGI [Beijing Genomics Institute in Shenzhen China]; and Bob Reiter, VP at Monsanto). In total, there were 10 external experts from all four core areas in the meeting. I never thought that I would have the opportunity to spend a day with such a group of eminent personalities!”

GCP’s work on the Integrated Breeding Platform and on crop ontology were of relevance at the meeting.

A couple of snapshots from that meeting follow, and do look at the links below the photos…


Rajeev (standing left) gives his presentation during the meeting

Rajeev on the left, and guess who’s on the right?….That’s right! Bill Gates!









Links: Rajeev’s profile | Comparative and Applied Genomics Theme | Comparative Genomics Research Initiative | Integrated Breeding Platform | Crop ontology (click on crop of interest from the menu along the top, then follow the ‘crop ontology’ link from the links in the box on the left)

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