MJ 1-0 - Major Symposium I: ASPB President's Symposium, Translational Science, Overview by Organizer Harry Klee, ASPB President

Saturday, July 14
1:00 PM - 1:05 PM

This symposium highlights examples of translational science – that is, science that has progressed from the most basic discoveries onward to applications in the real world. The goal is to demonstrate that fundamental discoveries in the laboratory can impact our lives and make a difference. In a time when scientific credibility is being challenged by elements of our society, it is critical that we highlight the positive impact that our work can have and highlight the rewards of a research career for the next generation. The four speakers in this symposium illustrates how excellence in research can be coupled with application. They highlight the value of investment in basic research; we cannot always predict where fundamental discoveries will lead us. The outcomes of the featured research are already impacting agriculture and human health in the developed and developing world.

Harry Klee, Ph.D

University of Florida

Harry Klee received a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Massachusetts. He did postdoctoral research on Agrobacterium tumefaciens at the University of Washington. He was employed by Monsanto Company from 1984-1995 where he developed technologies for plant transformation and transgene expression and participated in the team that developed Roundup resistant cotton, Brassica and soy. He has worked on the molecular biology of plant hormones, pioneering the use of transgenic plants to elaborate in vivo hormone function. He has worked on ethylene for the last three decades, with emphasis on its role in tomato fruit development. In 1995, he moved to the University of Florida where he established a program to understand the biochemistry and genetics underlying flavor of fruit crops. His laboratory has identified many of the genes encoding important flavor synthesis activities. That work has transitioned into large-scale genomics approaches for improvements of tomato flavor and fruit quality. Dr. Klee is a Member of the US National Academy of Sciences (elected in 2012), a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Editor-in-Chief of The Plant Journal from 2002 to 2009.

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