The Roslin Institute and Royal School of Veterinary Studies, UK
The Functional Annotation of Animal Genomes (FAANG) initiative
Professor Alan L. Archibald is Deputy Director and Head of the Division of Genetics and Genomics at The Roslin Institute and Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh. Professor Alan Archibald is internationally recognised in the field of farm animal genetics and genomics research. He co-led the first international farm animal genome project – PiGMaP. Together with Professor Chris Haley he was awarded the Royal Agricultural Society of England’s Research Medal in 1997 for research work of benefit to agriculture. He played leading roles in the Swine Genome Sequencing Consortium and International Sheep Genomics Consortium under whose auspices the pig and sheep genomes were sequenced. He is working with scientists around the world to establish a project for functional annotation of animal genomes.
His research is concerned with understanding the genetic control of complex traits, including production efficiency, product quality and host response to infectious disease, mainly in pigs and cattle.
He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh which is Scotland’s National Academy of Science and Letters.
Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, BE
Bridging research and agro-food policies
Jean Charles Cavitte
Jean-Charles Cavitte holds a doctorate in Veterinary Medecine from Ecole Nationale des Services Vétérinaires, Maison-Alfort, France. He is a Senior Administrator at the European Commission, Directorate General (DG) for Agriculture and Rural Development. Following positions with the French Veterinary Services, Jean-Charles began working for the European Commission in Brussels in 1994. He started there as a Veterinary Inspector, before managing veterinary legislation related to zoonoses at DG ‘Health and Consumer Protection’ in the Biological Risks Unit. He joined Directorate General (DG) ‘Research and Innovation’ – Directorate Biotechnology, Agriculture and Food, at the end of 2005 and worked there until mid-2014, managing a number of EU-funded projects related to most aspects of livestock production, including breeding. At DG 'Agriculture and Rural Development', Jean-Charles Cavitte works as a Planning and Programming Officer in the Unit dealing with Research and Innovation. He looks into the scientific and policy developments in the area of livestock.
Universidade Estadual Paulista Júlio de Mesquita Filho, Brazil
Genomics and breeding for food security in developing countries (South America)
José Fernando Garcia
Graduated from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Sao Paulo (1989), Master of Veterinary Science, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (1992) and Ph.D. in Animal Reproduction at the University of São Paulo (1995). He is currently Associate Professor at Universidade Estadual Paulista Julio de Mesquita Filho, having previously been professor at the University of São Paulo (1995-1997) and scientist at the Joint FAO / IAEA Programme Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture (2003 to 2005). Coordinates the Laboratory of Animal Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, UNESP - Araçatuba, part of the Collaborating Centre for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Animal Genomics and Bioinformatics. Acting in different fields of Animal Biotechnology, in particular the following issues: selection and breeding assisted by molecular markers in livestock and diagnosis of infectious and parasitic diseases in animals by the use of related methods for nucleic acid analysis and genomic approaches. Also involved in international consortiums for genome sequencing and analytical tools development such as: Bos taurus, Bos indicus, Bus bubalis (water buffalo) and Capra hircus (goat). Active member of the International Society of Animal Genetics (ISAG). In Brazil, was Treasurer of the Brazilian Society of Embryo Technology (SBTE) for two terms (96/97 and 98/99) and its President (2008/2010). In 2010 completed an MBA at Fundacao Getulio Vargas in Sao Paulo, in the area of Strategic Management and Economic Affairs. Member of the National Biosafety Technical Commission (CTNBio) of the Ministry of Science and Technology during the biennium 2010 to 2011.
Wageningen University, Animal Breeding and Genomics Centre
Lessons from pig genome sequencing
Martien Groenen has been a professor in Animal Genomics at Wageningen University since 2002. He has been involved in mapping the genomes of various farm animals since the beginning of the 1990s. In 2004, this resulted in three Nature publications describing the genome sequence and SNP variation of the chicken. He played a prominent role in the international chicken and swine genome sequencing projects. He was also involved in international projects that sequenced the genomes of turkey and duck and recently his group assembled the genomes of the great tit, Vasayan Warty pig and the yellow tail king fish. He has coordinated the genomics and bioinformatics work packages in a number of EU funded research projects and his group was among the first to use next generation sequence technology for large scale SNP identification as well as (re)sequencing complete genomes in a variety of farm and wild life animals. In 2009 he was awarded an advanced ERC research grant for his research project 'Molecular characterization of genetic factors in the pig under selection during speciation, domestication and breeding'. Professor Groenen has published over 225 peer reviewed articles and is a regular invited speaker at international conferences and workshops.
Expertise in genetic improvement of livestock and aquaculture species, with a focus on integration of molecular information into breeding programs, and breeding program design. More recently development of bioinformatic pipelines for sequence analysis. Author and co-author of book chapters and papers contributing to knowledge of genetic mechanisms underlying quantitative traits, linkage and linkage disequilibrium mapping and marker assisted selection in livestock and aquaculture species.
From Genomes through Transcriptomes to Phenomes in Animal Production and Health
Haja Kadarmideen (DVM, MVSc PhD) is a Professor and Leader of Animal Breeding, Quantitative Genetics and Systems Biology group at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. He is also the director of bi-lateral consortiums: the Danish-Indian BioChild Consortium (www.biochild.ku.dk) and the Danish-Brazilian GIFT Consortium (www.gift.ku.dk). His research interests are in quantitative genetics and systems biology of animal health, production and reproduction, genomic selection, conservation and breeding programs of livestock and genomics and systems biology of obesity and obesity-related human diseases using animal models.
EMBL Australia Group Leader, Infection & Immunity, South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), North Terrace, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia.
Associate Professor, School of Medicine, Flinders University, Bedford Park, SA 5042, Australia.
Using biological networks to help understand disease susceptibility
Associate Professor David Lynn has an international track record in applying computational and systems biology approaches to investigate the host response to infectious disease. Following a PhD in computational immunology at University College Dublin, he moved to Vancouver where he was the lead computational biologist on a Grand Challenges in Global Health Initiative project to investigate the host response to several key pathogens. Subsequently, he was Group Leader in Computational Biology at Teagasc in Ireland and in 2014 he was appointed as EMBL Australia Group Leader in the Infection and Immunity theme at the South Australian Health and Medical Research (SAHMRI), in Adelaide, Australia. David also holds a joint appointment as Associate Professor at the School of Medicine, Flinders University. At SAHMRI, David employs in vitro and in vivo experimental models coupled with systems biology approaches to investigate innate immunity and he also leads the development of InnateDB.com, a systems biology platform for innate immunity networks. Recently, David has also expanded his interest in network biology into the cancer signalling area, and he leads the computational biology aspects of €12 million European Commission funded project called PRIMES, which is investigating how to model and subsequently therapeutically target protein interaction networks in cancer. David has Published 40+ papers in journals including Science, Science Translational Medicine, Molecular Systems Biology, Journal of Infectious Diseases, Journal of Virology and Trends in Immunology. He has also given invited talks on six continents.
Associate professor (Physiology) of the Veterinary Faculty at Teramo University, Piazza Aldo Moro 45, Teramo, Italy
Restoring a correct epigenome in ART derived pre- and post implantation embryos
My main scientific interest has always been experimental embryology, with a focus on embryo micro manipulation. My current scientific interest is to understand the molecular mechanism regulating nuclear reprogramming in somatic cells (cloning); and more recently I've also involved in research aiming at storing cells and gametes in a dry state. I have published more than 80 papers on peer reviewed journals, including PNAS and Nature journals, and many influential papers on nuclear transfer (on Biology of Reproduction, Reproduction, Human Reproduction, Theriogenology).
Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Institute of Microbiology, Piacenza, Italy
Animals, diet, microbes and health
He was the co-ordinator of the first EU (1991) funded project devoted to probiotics (FLAIR project AGRF 0053 "Selection and characterisation of human probiotic strain") and since that time he has a track record of research activity in the field of molecular biology applied to probiotics. His research interest is focused on surface reactions of enteric lactobacilli and he was the first to isolate and characterise the proteins secreted by lactobacilli and responsible for aggregation phenotype. After his pioneering work, aggregation has been established has a relevant trait of probiotic bacteria and it is currently under investigation in several laboratories.
Molecular taxonomy of lactic acid bacteria is another field of interest: papers have been published dealing with the identification of bacteria forming the intestinal flora of new-borns, as identified by means of genetic techniques.
A third area of interest is the molecular typing of probiotic bacterial strains, in order to be able to trace the fate of bacterial cells after they have been ingested by humans. This is a really relevant point in order to establish a clear link between the persistence of bacteria into the gut and the observed probiotic effects.
Author or co-authors of more than 50 scientific papers, he also holds European and U.S. patents in the field of probiotic bacteria selection.
Molecular Section, Division of Biology at the University of California, San Diego
Amy E. Pasquinelli is a Professor in the Molecular Section of the Division of Biology at the University of California, San Diego. She received her B.A. from Bucknell University with a Major in Biology and Minors in Chemistry and English. She was granted a Ph.D. in Biomolecular Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and completed postdoctoral training in the Departments of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, and Molecular Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital, where she initiated her studies on the emerging microRNA field. Currently, the Pasquinelli lab focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying the biogenesis, specificity and regulatory functions of microRNAs in an endogenous context.
Animal Production and Health Laboratory, Joint FAO/IAEA, Vienna, Austria
Genomics and breeding for food security in developing countries (Asia and Africa)
Kathiravan Periasamy is originally from India and initially worked for National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources under Indian Council of Agricultural Research. He was working on characterization and genetic diversity analysis of Indian buffalo breeds. Subsequently, he was deputed to Department of Animal Science, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign as a visiting scientist under Govt. of India’s BOYSCAST Fellowship. With Prof. Juan J Loor and Massimo Bionaz, he worked on developing alternative approaches to interpret gene expression data overcoming the limitations of conventional over represented approach. Presently, he is working as a Technical Officer at Animal Production and Health Laboratory, Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture, International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna. The focus of his present research is livestock biodiversity and genetics of parasite resistance in sheep and goats. He has 50 research papers to his credit, of which 32 are published in international peer reviewed journals. He has undertaken several expert missions to strengthen capacities of IAEA Member states in the area of Animal Production especially animal genetics and breeding. He has travelled widely and has visited 12 countries in his official and personal capacity
Genetics, Breeding and Animal Health Unit, USDA Agricultural Research Service
U.S. Meat Animal Research Center, Clay Center, Nebraska
Gene expression in immune cells
Dr. Smith has worked in livestock genomics for over 20 years, contributing to efforts to assemble draft genomes of cattle, swine, sheep, bison, water buffalo, and goat, and to creation of genotyping tools for cattle and swine. Currently he is the Lead Scientist for a project to study bovine respiratory disease, that includes microbial genomics, metagenomics, and animal genome variation aspects of this costly disease complex.
United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Animal Genomics & Improvement Laboratory at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center.
Neomutations in Criollo cattle demonstrating convergent adaptation to tropical climate
Dr. Sonstegard has been leading genomics-based research programs in livestock species at ARS for the past 19 years with research goals to deliver solutions for immediate application to develop genetic improvement programs that improve food animal health, production, and well-being; and more recently, to identify and conserve important global bio-diversity as potential research targets to address global food security concerns.
Targeted deliverables include genome-based resources and tools to aid the livestock research community, selection tools like BovineSNP50 for the U.S. dairy industry, and practical breeding solutions for indigenous ruminants that provide economic security for small holders in underdeveloped countries.
Comparative genomics and gene function
Nicole graduated in biological sciences at the University of Milano, Italy, with a dissertation on plant population and evolutionary genetics. She later obtained a PhD in genetics from the University of Dundee, and undertook post-doctoral training in human population and statistical genetics at University College London, conducting applied and methodological work in evolutionary genetics and association studies. In 2005 Nicole joined the pharmacogenomics department at Johnson and Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development (Raritan, USA). In 2007 she joined the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, and since 2009 she has led her own team. In 2013 Nicole was appointed as Principal of Research at the Haematology Department of the University of Cambridge, UK.
Division of Animal Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, USA
Lessons from cattle genome sequencing
Jerry Taylor is a Curators’ Distinguished Professor of Animal Sciences and of Genetics and holds the Wurdack Chair in Animal Genomics in the Division of Animal Sciences at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and received the 2014 President’s Faculty Award for Sustained Career Excellence from the University of Missouri System. He is also the 2011 Frederick B. Mumford Outstanding Faculty Member and the 2008 Celebration of Excellence Distinguished Researcher in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources at the University of Missouri. He is the American Society of Animal Science’s 2013 Rockefeller Prentice Memorial Awardee in Animal Breeding and Genetics and a member of the Missouri Quality Beef Team which was awarded the NIFA Partnership Award for Mission Integration of Research, Education, or Extension in 2013. He is a member of the Bovine Genomics Consortium which developed the Illumina BovineSNP50 assay for which the team won the 2008 USDA Technology Transfer Award, the 2009 FLC Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer and the 2010 USDA Secretary’s Honors Award. He has received more than $40 million in competitive research funding as PI or co-PI, and has mentored 54 postdoctoral fellows, M.S. and Ph.D. students. Along with his co-investigators and graduate students he has authored 199 peer reviewed research articles, 5 book chapters, 6 patents and has edited one book. Jerry has served on the Scientific Advisory Board for Sigma-Aldrich Biotechnology in St Louis, MO and currently serves on the NSF Plant Genome project "Expanding the Medicago truncatula Hapmap as a Platform for Exploring the Genetics of Legume Symbioses" advisory board and the Business and Scientific Advisory Boards of Recombinetics, Inc. a biotechnology company focused on genetic engineering of livestock based in Minneapolis, MN and Intrepid Bioinformatics a genomics software solution provider based in Louisville, KY. Prior to joining the University of Missouri in 2002, he was Director of Genomics at RTI International in the Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Prior to this, he was cofounder, board member and a senior executive of GenomicFX an agricultural biotechnology company located in Austin, TX where he participated in activities including merger and acquisition, product and business development and intellectual property management. From 1986 to 2000, he was an Associate and then full Professor in the Faculty of Genetics and Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M University where he was the recipient of the Texas A&M Vice Chancellor’s Awards for Teaching and Team Research in 1996 and 1997, respectively. He began his academic career as an Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Tropical Veterinary Science at James Cook University in Townsville. His postdoctoral research was in the Department of Animal Science at Cornell University where he studied the genetic bases of fertility in male and female Holstein cattle. Jerry received a B.Sc. degree in Mathematics and a B.Sc. Honors degree in Mathematical Statistics from the University of Adelaide and a Ph.D. in Quantitative Genetics from the University of New England in Australia.
Aberdeen University, Rowett Institute for Nutrition and Health, Aberdeen, UK
Gut metagenomics and methane production in ruminants
Prof John Wallace obtained a 1st class Honours B.Sc. in Biochemistry from the University of Glasgow in 1972. Vacation placements included spells at the Forth River Purification Board and Distillers Company Ltd. Shortly after completing his Ph.D. at the University of Glasgow in 1975 ‘Maintenance energy and molar growth yields of Escherichia coli’, he joined the Microbiology Department of the Rowett Research institute, at that time headed by P.N. Hobson, with Sir Kenneth Blaxter as Institute Director. He has remained at the Rowett since 1976, developing interests in rumen and intestinal microbiology and ruminant nutrition. Following the merger of the Rowett with the University of Aberdeen in 2008, he was appointed to a Personal Chair at the University. He presently leads the rumen microbiology research team. At various times during his career, he has undertaken research sojourns in Australia, Japan and Ethiopia, and has served on the Editorial Boards of Microbiology, British Journal of Nutrition (Deputy Editor-in-Chief), FEMS Microbiology Letters, Animal Feed Science and Technology and Applied and Environmental Microbiology. I have served on the research committees of BBSRC and presently sit on the FEEDAP (feed additives) panel of the European Food Safety Authority. Career highlights include being invited to speak at the Pasteur Institute, Papeete, Tahiti, in ‘The Year of Louis Pasteur’ Symposium’, Microbes, Environment , Biotechnology, 8-12 May 1995, and being recognised via the DSM Nutrition Innovation Award in 2007 'in recognition of his pioneering research in animal nutrition.'
JS Davies Research Chair, School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences
The University of Adelaide, AU
Epigenomics, animal health and welfare
Dr Williams obtained his BSc degree from the University of London with honours in both Physics and Biology and his PhD in Biochemistry from the National Institute for Medical Research, London. He then moved to Edinburgh in Scotland to start work on genetics, first with the University of Edinburgh on Drosophila before moving into the field of agricultural at the Roslin Institute. He was Head of the Bovine Genomics Section, and Coordinator of the Institute Complex Traits Programme until 2005 when he moved to the Parco Tecnologico Padano in Italy where he was the Science Director until this year. He was recently appointed to the JS Davies Research Chair in the School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences at the University of Adelaide in Australia
Dr Williams’ research has focussed on the genetic improvement of animals and he has published more than 160 scientific papers in international reviewed journals and authored 22 book chapters. He has been the coordinator of numerous multi-centre national projects in the UK and Italy and of 8 European Union funded projects on topics including dairy production, meat quality, cattle health, BSE and basic genetics/genomics research. In his new role in Adelaide he will be working on ruminants with a particular focus on beef cattle.