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IBP team welcomes Manager and Informatics Coordinator



Following the recent launch of the Integrated Breeding Platform (formerly known as the Molecular Breeding Platform), a major GCP initiative intended as an online one-stop shop providing solutions and innovations in plant breeding for developing countries through analytical tools, services and project design, GCP is pleased to announce the arrival of two key members to the project team, as the vacancies for Senior Scientist–MBP Manager and Scientist–Informatics Coordinator have now been filled.

Taking up the position of MBP Manager, effective mid-April 2010, is Diego Gonzalez De Leon. Diego, of Mexican nationality, holds a PhD in Plant Genetics and Biosystematics from the University of Reading, UK and a BSc in Biology (with First Class Honors) from the University of London, UK. He also comes armed with a wealth of professional experience under his belt, encompassing genetic research on several major and minor crops, including maize, wheat, bananas, sugarcane, sorghum and Capsicum peppers, and he has significant expertise in laboratory design.

Before joining GCP Diego was a Visiting Professor in the Virus-Plant Interactions Laboratory at Mexican institute Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados (CINVESTAV). Prior to this, he was Head of the Molecular Genetics Laboratory at CIMMYT for five years, and has also held positions as Associate Head of the AGETROP laboratory at Agropolis–CIRAD, France, and as Associate Scientist for CIMMYT’s maize programme (based at the Maize RFLP Laboratory at the University of Missouri, Columbia, USA), amongst others, and has also worked as a scientific consultant for numerous institutes. Diego has been a member of the National Researchers System for the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT), Mexico, since the beginning of 2009, and is proficient in Spanish, English and French. Full details on the position of MBP Manager were provided in the original vacancy announcement.

Stepping into the role of Informatics Coordinator is Arllet Portugal. In her new position at GCP, Arllet will coordinate all aspects of data and information management for the Platform. Further details on the role itself are available in the original vacancy announcement.

Prior to taking on this role, Arllet was based at GCP’s host centre Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de Maíz y Trigo (CIMMYT), where she worked for over a year as a Crop Informatics Specialist, coordinating the global integration of all historical pedigree and phenotype data from CIMMYT wheat breeding research projects into a single database and developing a public, open source International Crop Information System (ICIS), a database system for managing biological data of crops. Before landing in Mexico, Arllet worked at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in her home country of the Philippines for four years, where her work on ICIS began, and saw her leading a team of eight programmers, in addition to coordinating training and tutorials about the database both in IRRI and in public and private sector institutes. Arllet holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of the Philippines, Los Banos, and completed a two-year post-graduate research programme focusing on an Earthquake Disaster Prevention System at Yamaguchi University in Japan.