On Oct 18, 2012 ARS Beltsville Area co-sponsored the Second Annual Fall Symposium with the University of Maryland: Feeding the Next to Two Billion People--a Role for Advanced Genetic Technology. Over 130 people attended the event held at the National Wildlife Visitor Center on the Patuxent Research Refuge in Laurel, MD.
Dr. Catherine Woteki, USDA Undersecretary for Research, Education, and Economics, delivered the keynote address outlining the challenges agriculture faces, including the need for 70% more protein than is currently produced to meet population demands.
Following Dr. Woteki's presentation, Dr. Harry Dawson of the Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center spoke on the dual use of swine based on genomics and genetic similarities to humans as a model to investigate both human and animal health.
Dr. Gary Muehlbauer of the University of Minnesota talked about the barley genome and efforts to exploit that knowledge for crop improvement, having just published as the primary author a paper on unraveling the barley genome in Nature.
Dr. John Buchanan spoke about genetically engineered salmon and the challenges his company, Center for Aquaculture Technologies, has faced with getting approval to market enhanced, rapid-growth salmon through the FDA regulatory process.
The symposium included a poster session highlighting research conducted by the University of Maryland students and faculty and Beltsville Area scientists. Many of the posters involved joint research conducted at the two institutions.