Celebrating advances in agrigenomics with "SuperSHEroes"

Women scientists using technology to seed global change

Wednesday, 09Dec | 7AM GMT



Not all superheroes wear capes. Some, like our agricultural biotechnology colleagues, wear lab coats. In moments of need, our industry has shown we can work together to tackle major problems that threaten various communities and our planet. In the COVID-19 era, maintaining food security and agriculture supply chain resilience are critical, as are choices of technology to address these challenges.

In this webinar, we spotlight three examples of “SuperSHEroes”, women scientists who are seeding global change in agriculture through innovative genomics approaches.

Meet our speakers

Dr. Sukganah Apparow

Manager, Molecular Breeding Laboratory
Sime Darby Plantation Technology Centre

GenomeSelectTM: Paving the path to increased yield, sustainability and efficiency for oil palm

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About Dr. Sukganah Apparow

Sukganah Apparow joined Sime Darby Plantation (SDP) as Senior Scientist in the field of Molecular Breeding in 2011, right after obtaining a PhD in Plant Genetics from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). She was responsible for setting up a high-throughput genotyping facility at Sime Darby Plantation Technology Centre (SDPTC), Serdang, Malaysia in 2015. The set up positions SDPTC among the top echelon of the world’s genotyping facilities and made possible the Edison Award 2017, New York under Energy & Sustainability category for SDP’s GenomeSelect™ innovation. Her significant achievement in the GenomeSelect™ project brought her the “SDP Employee Award” in 2016, followed by “Best Publication 2018” award. Currently, she manages the Molecular Breeding Laboratory at SDPTC which has recently received MS IEC/ISO 17025:2017 Accreditation for nucleic acid testing to provide genomic solutions for oil palm planters.

Dr. Inge Gazendam

Researcher, Plant Breeding
Agricultural Research Council Vegetable and Ornamental plants

Migrating potato fingerprinting from microsatellite markers to a panel of single nucleotide polymorphisms

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About Dr. Inge Gazendam

Inge Gazendam has been a researcher at the Agricultural research council (ARC) Vegetable and ornamental plants (VOP) since 2001. During this time, she has applied a variety of molecular biology, genomics, viromics, virus diagnostics and molecular marker tools to mandated vegetable and indigenous flower plants. She has also performed plant transformation to improve crops for drought and virus tolerance. Inge graduated from the University of Pretoria in 2000 with a BSc(Hons) degree in Biochemistry. After joining the ARC she completed an MSc and Ph.D in Plant biotechnology in 2012 from the same university. In these two studies she characterized transgenic potato for fungus tolerance, and identified various cowpea genes responding to drought stress, respectively. Functional characterisation was carried out by transforming Arabidopsis thaliana with a selected drought-induced cowpea gene. Her current interest is in incorporating molecular markers to modernize breeding of various vegetables at ARC-VOP. She is an alumni of the UC-Davis African plant breeding academy (AfPBA) class IV (Dec 2019). She is involved in fingerprinting potato and sweet potato for genetic trueness-to type, and marker-assisted selection for male sterility in onion.

Dr. Santatra Ravelomanantsoa

Crop improvement and Plant Health Scientist
National Center of Applied Research for Rural Development, FOFIFA

Genomics-assisted parental selection for the development of biofortified vegetable amaranth cultivars

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About Dr. Santatra Ravelomanantsoa

Ravelomanantsoa “Santatra” is a Malagasy Woman Scientist interested in various life sciences areas. She joined the Department of Agricultural Research of FOFIFA in 2017. Santatra manages research programmes and carries out research focusing on Selection for Disease and Pest Resistance, Plant Pathology and Biological Control. She also leads the Plant Health Laboratory and takes part in the design and the development of large research projects through national and international collaborative research programmes focusing on Food Security and Fight against Malnutrition, and Pests and Diseases Epidemiosurveillance and Biocontrol in the South West Indian Ocean. Santatra has over 13 years of experience in areas  of agricultural-related R&D. Previously, Santatra worked for a decade at the National Research Center FIFAMANOR. She was the Head of Wheat and Triticale Research Unit and responsible for the selection of superior wheat and triticale cultivars. Santatra is a graduate of the African Plant Breeding Academy Class IV.

Dr. Joy Kang

APAC Regional Marketing Manager
LGC, Biosearch Technologies


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About Dr. Joy Kang

Joy is currently the APAC Regional Marketing Manager at LGC, Biosearch Technologies based out of Singapore. Prior to Biosearch Technologies, Joy has held roles as Field Applications Scientists supporting single cell and high-throughput genomics as well as cell-based analysis platforms for customers across Asia Pacific. Joy’s academic background is in cancer biology where she obtained her PhD and post-doctoral training at the Department of Physiology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore.

These "SuperSHEroes" are championing modern genomics to promote sustainability, efficiency and optimal breeding workflows.