Engineering complex agronomic traits in crops
by Dirk Inzé
(VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology, Ghent University, Belgium)
23 March 2023 17:00
Mendel Lectures take place in Mendel´s refectory in the Mendel Museum Brno
Dirk Inzé is a global leader in plant biology. His research ambition is to obtain a holistic understanding of the molecular networks regulating plant organ growth and crop productivity. His work has opened up new perspectives for providing food security for the growing world population in a changing climate.
Dirk Inzé received his PhD at Ghent in 1984. In 1990, he was appointed Research Director of the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA), where he initiated highly successful research programs on the plant cell cycle and growth control. In 1995, he became Professor at Ghent University and he was the scientific founder of the biotechnology company CropDesign, which was established in 1998 and acquired in 2006 by BASF Plant Science. In 2002, Dirk was appointed Director of the Center for Plant Systems Biology of the VIB. Under his directorship, the Center – currently employing approximately 300 individuals – became one of the world leading centers for advanced plant sciences. Dirk’s research was recognized by numerous awards and he is a member of several science advisory boards. Dirk currently owns, for the second time, an advanced ERC grant and his work received >59,000 citations (H-factor 135). In 2017, Dirk was awarded with the prestigious World Agriculture Prize. In 2019 he was elected to the rank of AAAS Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and in 2020 he was elected to be a member of Academia Europaea. In 2021, Dirk was appointed member of the Science Council of the ERC. In addition, he is very active in promoting the use of genome editing in EU. He heads the EU SAGE initiative, a network of 134 European research institutes to advocate the use of genome editing for sustainable agriculture and food production in EU member states.