Ladybird on leafExecutive Board

Laura Barter and Rudiger Woscholski are the directors of AGRI-net. They have worked together for several years at the Institute of Chemical Biology, Imperial College London, administering and managing the teaching and research associated with an EPSRC-funded doctorial training centre (DTC) in chemical biology. They are deputy directors of this DTC and directors of two master’s courses in chemical biology, one of them being the MRes in Chemical Biology of Crop Sustainability and protection. Woscholski is the founder and Editor-in Chief of the “Journal of Chemical Biology” published by Springer.

Laura Barter (Imperial)

Laura BarterDr Laura Barter’s multidisciplinary scientific background bridges the physical & life science disciplines.

The underlying theme of her research is to determine quantitative structure function relationships in biological systems employing optical spectroscopic, biochemical and proteomic techniques allied with modelling and calculation. She has a particular interest in the inefficiencies of Photosynthesis, and has research programmes investigating both the light dependent and Calvin Cycle reactions.

Rudiger Woscholski (Imperial)

RudigerDr Rudiger Woscholski’s research interests are focussed on employing chemical biology approaches to answer questions in lipid dependent signalling. In particular, lipid phosphatases and kinases are the main targets to generate suitable chemical tools that can be used to probe and quantify these targets and their regulators.

Since 2006 this work involved the use of synthetic as well as physical chemistry to generate new tools and techniques, respectively, to probe and disturb cellular signalling. In the last two years Woscholski has engaged with Barter and other plant scientists to port the achievements generated in chemical biology towards the plant sciences.

Andrew Crossthwaite (Syngenta)

Andrew CrossthwaiteDr Andrew Crossthwaite’s degree and PhD were at King’s College London. After a post-doc in the Pharmacology Dept. at the University of Cambridge, Andrew joined Syngenta in 2005 as an insecticide biochemistry team leader. He currently heads the Insecticide Bioscience group with teams based at Jealott’s Hill in Berkshire and Stein in Switzerland.

Andrew has recently been appointed as chairman of the IRAC (insecticide resistance action committee) mode of action team. His research interests include elucidating how novel agrochemicals work and understanding the basis of field-evolved resistance.

Angela Karp (Rothamsted Centre for Bioenergy and Climate Change)

Angela KarpDr Angela Karp is Scientific Director of the Rothamsted Centre for Bioenergy and Climate Change and Deputy Head of the Plant and Invertebrate Ecology Division at Rothamsted Research. She is a geneticist by training, having graduated with a First in Genetics at Queen Mary College, London University. Her research focuses on optimising the sustainable yield and composition of perennial biomass crops (especially willows) for bioenergy and biofuel production, under the constraints of low-input arable systems.

Amongst the many projects she is involved in, Dr Karp leads the UK DEFRA funded willow breeding programme, comprising breeding underpinned by genetic mapping and genomics and the RELU-Biomass project on the social, environmental and economic implications of increasing land use under energy crops, which is funded by the RCUK Rural Economy and Land Use (RELU) programme.

She now also leads the Perennial Bioenergy Crops Programme, which is one of six research hubs making up the BBSRC Sustainable Bioenergy Centre. In 2007, Dr Karp received the Royal Agricultural Society of England Research Medal for her work on bioenergy crops and in 2008 was awarded the Alfred-Toepfer prize for Agriculture, Forestry and Nature Protection for her research achievements in willow.

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