Ask Me Anything: Plant Science Careers in Industry with Phil Taylor, Kelly Gillespie, and Matt Lingard

Three scientists discuss their experiences with industry careers and the different opportunities they have had working at Monsanto. Participants were invited to pre-submit their questions when they registered, and additional questions were addressed during the seminar.

About the speakers:

Phil Taylor is a plant cell biologist whose training at the John Innes Center in Norwich, UK, included postdoctoral work on protein targeting in the endomembrane system. At Monsanto, he has held various roles in biotechnology, first contributing to, and subsequently leading, Yield Trait Projects, IT Capital Projects, and Collaborations. Phil currently leads the New Investments group, focused on setting the strategy around key technologies to pursue, ensuring external collaborations are effectively managed, and directing the Biotechnology relationship and collaboration strategy in China.

Kelly Gillespie is a plant physiologist who trained at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, SoyFACE. Her research focused on understanding how soybean biochemistry, physiology, and yield will respond to future climate change scenarios. Kelly did a postdoc at the Danforth Center working to improve the photosynthetic machinery of algae for improvements in biofuel production. At Monsanto, Kelly leads one of the portfolio projects in the company’s R&D division that is working to make step-change advances in yield & sustainability in corn.

Matt Lingard is a plant cell biologist who did his Ph.D. work at Arizona State University studying peroxisome protein targeting and peroxisome biogenesis. He did his postdoc with Bonnie Bartel at Rice University studying the genetics of peroxisome protein degradation. At Monsanto, Matt has had various roles on the cell biology team (primarily designing custom cell-based assays) and the Molecular Breeding Technologies group, where he is leading Monsanto’s marker and automation innovation platform.

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