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Press Release: Professor Mike Bevan – Can Genomics Feed the World?


Wednesday 28 November 2018

  • The global population is projected to reach 9.8bn by 2050
  • Climate change has caused significant losses in the production of major crops, including a 24% reduction in corn and 11% in rice, and feeding the growing population will become increasingly challenging
  • Genomics examines the structure, function, evolution, mapping, and editing of DNA, and can be applied to improve food production

With a burgeoning population, the world is struggling to grow crops and supply food at the necessary rate. To meet this need, crops need environmental resilience and increased yields, which can be provided with the use of genomics – an interdisciplinary science focused on studying how editing the structure of an organism’s genomes can control its characteristics.

During his Public Evening Lecture, on Wednesday 28 November 2018, Professor Mike Bevan will discuss how genomic approaches to food production will improve the variety of crops available and make a significant contribution to global food security.

About the speaker

Professor Mike Bevan was raised on a remote sheep farm in the King Country of the central North Island of New Zealand. It was here that he developed an early interest in the rich variety of wildlife in the area, especially the extensive native forests. He gained undergraduate and Master’s degrees at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, before completing a PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Cambridge, UK.

In his post-doctoral work, he demonstrated one of the first examples of stable and heritable expression of a bacterial gene in plants, and from this created a popular vector for plant transformation. He has worked at the John Innes Centre in Norwich, UK – an international centre of excellence in plant science, genetics, and microbiology – since 1988, and is currently Deputy Director and Strategic Programme Leader. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2013.

Date for your diary:       Wednesday 28 November 2018
Venue:                            SCI HQ, 15 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8PS

Reception opens at 18.00 and the lecture starts at 18.30. This is a free event.


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