Global Institute for Food Security appoints top international science advisory panel

The Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS) at the University of Saskatchewan announces today that it has completed the appointment of a full International Scientific Advisory Panel, which will provide scientific advice, feedback and oversight to GIFS research in the areas of seed and developmental biology, root-soil-microbial interactions, and digital and computational agriculture.

“We are honoured to have attracted such an extraordinarily talented group of scientists from around the world,” said Maurice Moloney, GIFS’ executive director and CEO.

“Their expertise covers botany, plant science, genetics, chemistry, entomology, molecular biology and leadership in industrial agriculture and in regulatory affairs. Many members of the panel are pioneers in their fields, members of the Royal Society and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and winners of major awards and honors including the Wolf Prize for Agriculture, the U.S. National Research Initiatives Discovery Award, American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) Gibbs Medal, the Belgian Francqui Medal, and Companion of the Order of the British Empire. ”

Members of GIFS International Scientific Advisory Panel (ISAP) appointed by the GIFS’ board of directors include: (Biographies to follow.)

  • John Pickett, CBE, DSc, Fellow of the Royal Society – ISAP Chair
  • Julia Bailey-Serres, PhD, Member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences
  • Richard (Dick) Flavell, PhD, DSc, CBE, Fellow of the Royal Society
  • Margaret Gadsby, MSc, former Vice-President Bayer Crop Science, Regulatory Affairs (Seeds)
  • William Lucas, PhD, DSc, French National Academy of Sciences
  • Kiran Sharma, PhD, Principal Scientist - ICRISAT (CGIAR)
  • Joerg Bohlmann, PhD, Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada
  • Gijs van Rooijen, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer, Genome Alberta


“The entire membership of the advisory panel is excited to be involved in the research program taking place at GIFS,” said John Pickett, chair of the GIFS International Scientific Advisory Panel.  “Food security is of the utmost importance, and GIFS is addressing it by attracting researchers who are at the top of their field and by working collaboratively with the most knowledgeable research groups and institutes globally.  We’re delighted to be involved in GIFS’ work.”

“The appointment of such an august scientific advisory panel is an important milestone that underscores the high-level international research and global partnerships of the Global Institute for Food Security,” said Karen Chad, U of S vice-president research.  “We welcome the panel members to the U of S community, and are indeed privileged to be the beneficiary of their vast experience and tremendous knowledge.”

About The Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS):

The Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS) performs discovery research to deliver transformative innovations in agriculture in both the developed and the developing world.  To address these issues, GIFS research is focussed on three areas: Seed & Developmental Biology, Root-Soil-Microbial Interactions, and Digital & Computational Agriculture.

GIFS was founded as a public-private partnership between PotashCorp, the University of Saskatchewan, and the Government of Saskatchewan. It is the home of leading researchers and has attracted over $100M in funding to date. 

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About the University of Saskatchewan:

Set in an architecturally stunning century-old campus in Saskatoon, the U of S is the core of a dynamic research hub working to address critical challenges faced by people locally and around the world.  World-class research centres on campus include global institutes for food and water security, the Canadian Light Source synchrotron, the Crop Development Centre, and the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization-International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac), plus an impressive array of national and provincial bio-science research labs. With stellar research teams and annual research income of over $200 million, the university has earned a place among the U15 group of Canada’s top research universities. More information is available at:

For more information, please contact:

Sara Alexander
Director of Marketing and Stakeholder Relations
Global Institute for Food Security
Office: 306-966-3704
Cell: 306-250-9910

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