JIC’s Professor John Snape to be next CIMMYT Chair

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April 11, 2014

Three years after joining the Board of Trustees of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), Professor John Snape has been elected as Chair.

Professor Snape is an emeritus fellow in the Crop Genetics department of the John Innes Centre. His research career in wheat genetics and biotechnology has spanned 41 years. He succeeds farmer and former plant breeder Dr Andy Barr from Australia.

CIMMYT is the global leader in research for development in wheat- and maize-based farming systems. The centre works throughout the developing world with hundreds of partners to sustainably increase productivity to improve global food security and livelihoods.

I look forward to helping CIMMYT become an even more effective and sustainable centre for developing wheat and maize production systems in the developing world,” says Professor Snape.

Since joining the board, he has helped develop the International Wheat Yield Partnership announced last month, and participated in the opening of the maize double haploid facility, and a screening facility for maize lethal necrosis (MLN) in Kenya. The Board has also overseen a large Mexican Government-funded project for the sustainable modernisation of traditional agriculture. The project, known as MasAgro, has made great progress towards identifying and developing higher-yielding and climate-ready wheat and maize varieties for farmers in Mexico and worldwide.

John Snape meeting with the Deputy President of Kenya to emphasise CIMMYT’s role in the country. September 2013.

BBSRC-funded Wheat Improvement Strategic Programme (WISP) Consortium, coordinated by scientists at the John Innes Centre, also feeds directly into wheat breeding at CIMMYT.

“John’s election is both an honour for him and for the John Innes Centre,” says JIC Director Professor Dale Sanders.

“Wheat is one of the world’s key crops, and to be able to contribute in this way to oversight of its improvement will represent a major contribution to food security,” he says.

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