Taproot Podcast S1E3: Academia, Industry, and Pivoting on Projects with Luca Comai

In this episode, Ivan and Liz talk with Luca Comai, a Professor of Plant Biology at the Genome Center at University of California, Davis. We discuss a paper he published as part of his transition from industry to academia that he feels illustrates a mistake he made in choosing a research direction. We have a fascinating conversation about the power and the peril of striking out in new research directions and Luca gives his advice on grant-writing. The paper is “Developmental expression of tomato heat shock cognate protein 80″  by Koenig & Comai, Plant Phys 1992.

Luca, who won the 2017 ASPB Innovation Prize for Agricultural Technology, shares stories and wisdom drawn from over 30 years experience in both industry and academia and describes how he went from scrounging for free yellow tip samples from the mail to a well-funded and respected researcher. Tune in to hear this beloved teacher, mentor and unique voice share advice and Italian recipes for success!


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Paper: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16653061

Lords of the Harvest: https://www.amazon.com/Lords-Of-The-Harvest-Biotech/dp/073820773X/gristmagazine

Luca’s Teaching website  http://flipping101genetics.blogspot.com

The Taproot is the podcast that digs beneath the surface to understand how scientific publications in plant biology are created. In each episode, co-hosts Liz Haswell and Ivan Baxter take a paper from the literature and talk about the story behind the science with one of its authors.

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Questions, feedback, suggestions?  Contact us at taproot@plantae.org.

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