HLPDAB: Early Career and Innovative Start-ups Symposium

    July 29, 2023
    9:00 am - 5:45 am
    Seattle Convention Center Summit Building (Hybrid)
    Seattle, USA

This one-day symposium shared new developments in agricultural biotechnologies and emphasized the role of youth in innovation. Through panel discussions, lightning talks, and a poster session, early career researchers presented on or learned of the impacts of policies on their work, empowering them as advocates for the development of trade-facilitating, science-based policies on agricultural biotechnology. In addition to highlighting early career researchers and start-ups from APEC member economies, this symposium provided an opportunity for researchers working in the field of agricultural biotechnology in the Asia Pacific region to exchange ideas. Industry representatives delivered presentations on enabling policy environments, current research and development, and career opportunities. As one of the activities on the margins of the High Level Policy Dialogue on Agricultural Biotechnology (HLPDAB) plenary, the symposium contributed to strengthening sustained information sharing related to agricultural biotechnologies between APEC member economies through highlighting innovations in the field.

Innovation Symposium Program Book
Click here to view the symposium’s program book, which contains the abstracts and biographies of participating early career researchers.


(Time in PDT/UTC-7)

9:00 am

Welcome and Introduction to the Symposium

Dr. Jennifer Rowland
Science Advisor, New Technologies & Production Methods Division, Foreign Agricultural Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, The United States of America

9:05 am

Opening Remarks

Ms. Sanah Baig
Deputy Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics, U.S. Department of Agriculture, The United States of America

9:15 am

Session 1 – Research and Innovation Lightning Presentations

8 Lightning Talks

Invited early career researchers will each give a 4-minute presentation to highlight their research and encourage further interaction during the poster session.

Moderator: Dr. Bhavneet Bajaj, Manager – Scientific Programs, Agriculture & Food Systems Institute, The United States of America

Engineering Plants with Nitrogen Fixation Capabilities
Dr. Christina Gregg
Research Scientist, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia

Implementation of CRISPR-Based Gene-Editing Tools in Brassica napus Canola
Mr. Neil Hickerson
Graduate Student Researcher, University of Calgary, Canada

Tuning Glutathione Content through Multiplex Genome Editing for Studying Dehydration Tolerance in Rice
Dr. Chin-Yu Wu
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, National Taiwan University, Chinese Taipei

Developing the Fruits for the Future: Precision Breeding in Fruit Crops
Dr. Bernardo Pollak
Chief Executive Officer, Meristem, Chile

Induction of Resistance to Sugarcane Mosaic Virus by RNA Interference Targeting Viral Coat Protein in Sugarcane
Dr. Rikno Harmoko
Research Scientist, National Research and Innovation Agency, Indonesia

Use of Genetic Engineering to Develop Resistance to Biotic Stress in Plants
Dr. Tetsuya Yoshida
Researcher, Crop Disease Research Group, Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, NARO, Japan

CRISPR Tools-Mediated Pepper Genome Editing
Dr. Hyeran Kim
Assistant Professor, Kangwon University, The Republic of Korea

Offspring Production of a SRY-knock in Bull
Dr. Alba Ledesma
Post-Doctoral Researcher, University of California, Davis, The United States of America

9:55 am

Agricultural Biotechnology Innovations Leading Change Around the Globe

Dr. John Sedbrook
Professor of Genetics, College of Arts and Sciences, Illinois State University

10:30 am

Coffee/Tea Break

11:00 am

Session 2 – Research and Innovation Lightning Presentations

8 Lightning Talks

Invited early career researchers will each give a 4-minute presentation to highlight their research and encourage further interaction during the poster session.

Moderator: Dr. Bhavneet Bajaj

Developing Recombinant Wheat Cultivars with Drought Tolerance Traits
Dr. Xiaoqing Li
Research Scientist, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia

Tastier Pea Protein through CRISPR/Cas9 Gene-Editing
Dr. Connor Hodgins
Researcher, University of Calgary, Canada

Development of Allergenicity and Toxicity Assessment Methods for Evaluating Transgenic Sugarcane
Dr. Widhi Dyah Sawitri
Assistant Professor, Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia

RNAi-mediated Protection against Cucumber Mosaic Virus (CMV) in Rockmelon (Cucumis melo L.)
Ms. Dharane Kethiravan
Graduate Student Researcher, University of Malaya, Malaysia

Biofortification of Rice Grains through Genome Editing: Addressing Zinc Deficiency in Asia-Pacific Region
Mr. Erwin Arcillas
Assistant Scientist, International Rice Research Institute, Republic of the Philippines

Microbial-Based Technology as an Alternative to Address Overflow of Agricultural Residues: Production of Vanillin from Lignin Derivatives Using the Recombinant Cell
Dr. Panaya Kotchaplai
Researcher, Institute of Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand

Improving Pennycress Seed Size and Glucosinolate Domestication Traits
Ms. Liza Gautam
Research Scholar, Illinois State University, The United States of America

Improved Bacterial Leaf Blight Disease Resistance in Major Elite TBR225 Rice Cultivar Using CRISPR/Cas9 System
Dr. Nguyen Duy Phuong
Head of Molecular Pathology Department, Agricultural Genetics Institute, Viet Nam

11:40 am

Poster Session

Early career researchers will present at a poster session, during which symposium participants can further engage with them about their research.

12:40 pm

Keynote Presentation: Agricultural Biotechnology in the Developing World - Opportunities and the Role of the Gates Foundation

Mr. Lawrence Kent
Senior Program Officer, Agricultural Development, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The United States of America

Lunch Served

1:50 pm

Panel Discussion 1: Finding your Market, Traits and Targets, Regulatory Considerations, and Beyond

Moderator: Dr. Jennifer Rowland

Mr. Dan Jenkins
Vice President of Regulatory and Government Affairs, Pairwise, The United States of America

Mr. Shimpei Takeshita
President, Sanatech Seed Co., Ltd., Japan

Dr. M. Tahir
Director of Research & Regulatory Affairs, Okanagan Specialty Fruits, Canada

Ms. Rebecca Catlett
Director of Marketing & Communication, Okanagan Specialty Fruits, Canada

3:20 pm

Panel Discussion 2: Encouraging an Enabling Environment for Agricultural Biotechnology

Moderator: Dr. Stuart Smyth, Associate Professor, University of Saskatchewan, Canada

Ms. Chantal March
Director of Quality & Regulatory Compliance, AquaBounty Canada, Inc., Canada

Mr. Martin Mariani Ventura
Global Seeds & Traits Manager, Bioceres Crop Solution, Argentina

Mr. Paul Spencer
Global Trade Policy Advocacy Leader, External Affairs, Corteva Agriscience, The United States of America

Dr. Chee Hark Harn
Director, Seed R&BD Headquarters, ToolGen, Inc., The Republic of Korea

4:20 pm

Closing Remarks

Dr. Jennifer Rowland

4:30 pm

Early Career Researchers: Group Photo

4:45 pm

Meet and Greet with Early Career Researchers

Soft Drinks and Snacks Served

5:45 pm

Symposium Ends for All