Cibus Global Strengthens Science Team

Cibus Global, a pioneering plant trait development firm, has promoted Dr. James Pearce to Director, Molecular Biology. Cibus has also further strengthened its scientific management team with the addition of Dr. David Songstad, who will become Director of Research, Cell Biology.

“James has played an instrumental role in Cibus’ growth during his tenure here, and we are proud to see him rise to a leadership position within the company,” said Greg Gocal, Vice President of Research, Cibus Global. “The addition of David, who comes to us with more than two decades of experience in the industry, will serve to bolster the Cibus team as we enter quite a momentous time for the company. Both James and David will help in the continuous development of Cibus’ proprietary Rapid Trait Development System (RTDS) technology, and we couldn’t be happier to welcome them both to their new roles.” 

This announcement follows tremendous growth at Cibus Global. Throughout the past several years, Cibus has successfully secured millions of dollars in research contracts with various key partners, leading to a significant expansion of research and commercial based activities. By utilizing its environmentally safe, smart-breeding technology, Cibus has the unique ability to develop non-transgenic traits in crops around the world.

Dr. James Pearce, Director, Molecular Biology

In his current role, Dr. Pearce’s focus is on the continual optimization of the screening platform and improving the efficiency of the RTDS technology while managing the various programs within the molecular biology group.

Dr. Pearce joined Cibus in 2007 as a Senior Scientist in the Molecular Biology Group. During his six years at Cibus, he has developed many of the tools integral to the current molecular screening platform and has played a key role in building Cibus’ patent portfolio in the United States. Dr. Pearce has also been instrumental in designing and implementing a novel genotyping platform that has been adopted company-wide.

Prior to joining Cibus, Dr. Pearce was part of a small team from Syngenta working on site at Diversa (now BP Biofuels) to manage a research collaboration focused on the application of plant-delivered enzyme technologies in biofuels and animal nutrition fields. Previously, Dr. Pearce served as Syngenta’s technical lead on several projects, including one aimed at producing commercially valuable molecules through assembly of biosynthetic pathways in a heterologous host.

Dr. Pearce obtained an undergraduate degree at the University of Nottingham in the UK before attending the University of Cambridge, where he earned his Ph.D.

Dr. David Songstad, Director Of Research, Cell Biology

Most recently, Dr. Songstad was the New Products Lead for Monsanto promoting the regulatory launch of transgenic drought tolerant corn (MON87460) through third party academic studies. He also was assigned to promote the launch of Monsanto’s stearidonic acid omega-3 soybean (MON87769) effort and the intrinsic yield soybean project.

Previously, Dr. Songstad led the Monsanto corn transformation team that was the first to commercialize Agrobacterium-derived transgenic events, specifically MON88017 (Cry3Bb/CP4) and the first commercial marker-free “2-T DNA” system MON89034 (Cry1A.105/Cry2Ab2).  He was also an early contributor to corn tissue culture with the discovery of silver nitrate for control of ethylene in embryogenic corn tissue culture. Additionally, Dr. Songstad was the first to discover pre-cultured immature embryo bombardment as a means to genetically transform maize.

Dr. Songstad has received numerous awards and recognition for his work, including Monsanto’s “Above and Beyond Award” in 2004 as well as the Society for In Vitro Biology (SIVB) Fellow Award in 2005. In 2011, he was elected by his peers as President of the SIVB in 2011 for a term in 2012-2014.  Dr. Songstad also serves on the Board of Representatives for the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST).

He received a B.S. and M.S. from South Dakota State University before attending the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where he earned his Ph.D.

Leave a Reply

Seed/Biotech Stories

Seed/BiotechSyngenta Delivers Two New Winter Wheat Varieties To Eastern Corn Belt
August 6, 2014
Adding to its portfolio of AgriPro brand wheat varieties, Syngenta introduces SY 007 and SY 474 soft red winter wheat varieties. Read More
Seed/BiotechWater Optimized Seed Flowing Freely
April 1, 2014
As the demand for ag to diminish its water use while maintaining high yields and crop quality increases, three companies are leading the movement to grow more with less water. Read More
Seed/BiotechBayer Applies For Seed Treatment That Protects Against Sudden Death Syndrome
February 26, 2014
If approved, ILeVO seed treatment would be the first product to provide breakthrough protection for soybean seedlings from the soil borne pathogen Fusarium virguliforme, the fungus that causes SDS. Read More
Seed/BiotechSeed Still Central
November 1, 2013
Advancing genetics continue to make seed the crop variable that calls the shots for the season. Read More

Trending Articles

EquipmentAdvance Your Technology IQ At MAGIE
August 13, 2014
The Midwest AG Industries Exposition (August 20-21) is the place you need to be to see, study and evaluate how new advances in the equipment, operations, crop protection and fertility sectors can help your business prosper. Read More
HerbicidesScouting Key To Next Season’s Soybean Herbicide Program
August 12, 2014
When growing soybeans, growers need to think ahead to stay one step ahead of weeds. That means examining weed threats and evaluating which herbicides work best. Read More
StewardshipMichigan Agriculture Leaders On Toledo Water Ban: We Want To Be Part Of The Conversation
August 8, 2014
Leaders of Michigan agricultural organizations said Thursday that the government should not have a “knee-jerk reaction” based on last weekend’s water ban in Toledo due to fertilizer run-off in Lake Erie. Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT Acquires Lemon Ag Services
August 4, 2014
The acquisition of Lemon Ag fits BRANDT’s aggressive corporate strategy of providing superior agronomic advice and services for customers in central Illinois. Read More
Eric SfiligojThe Resurgence Of Crop Protection
August 4, 2014
Plenty of new offerings over the next few years should see a rebirth for the crop protection products category in terms of market share. Read More
LegislationUSDA Implements Key Farm Bill Crop Insurance Provision
July 30, 2014
The new Supplemental Coverage Option, available through the federal crop insurance program and set to begin with the 2015 crop year, is designed to help protect producers from yield and market volatility. Read More

Latest News

CropLife 100GROWMARK CEO To Retire
August 22, 2014
GROWMARK chief executive officer Jeff Solberg has announced his retirement effective September 15, 2014. Read More
InsecticidesDuPont’s Prevathon Approved For Dry Beans
August 22, 2014
DuPont Prevathon insect control powered by Rynaxypyr has received EPA registration for foliar use on dry bean crops, including dried shelled peas and beans. Read More
ManagementNCGA DuPont New Leaders Program Enters Sophmore Season
August 20, 2014
The National Corn Growers Association and DuPont are pleased to announce the second year of the NCGA DuPont New Leaders Program. Read More
FungicidesVerdesian Links Up With Mitsui, Hokusan
August 20, 2014
Mitsui Chemicals Agro, Inc., and Hokusan Co., announced the signing of an exclusive licensing agreement allowing Verdesian Life Sciences global access to its patented technology for suppressing mycotoxin contamination in wheat and barley. Read More
SprayersUniversity Of Illinois Introduces New Spray App
August 18, 2014
University of Illinois Extension has released a new smartphone app for making sprayer-related calculations. Pesticide Spray Calculator, or Spray Calc, Read More
Crop InputsSyngenta Names New Manager Of Federal Government Relati…
August 18, 2014
Laura Wood Peterson has joined Syngenta as manager of federal government relations, based in Washington, DC. Read More
ManagementExpert To Discuss Farmland Value, Rent At Farm Science …
August 18, 2014
While cropland values in Ohio increased in the past two years, they have remained flat in 2014, declining in some cases, according to an Ohio State University agricultural economist. Read More
EquipmentDeere Announces Factory Layoffs
August 18, 2014
Deere & Co. has announced it will reduce the size of its manufacturing workforce at some agricultural equipment factories in response to current market demand for its products. Read More
HerbicidesNew DuPont Afforia Herbicide Gives Crops A Clean Start
August 18, 2014
DuPont Afforia is a preplant herbicide for soybeans and other field crops that provides excellent burndown and residual control of many challenging weeds, such as marestail and waterhemp. Read More
Equipment21 Products Showcased At MAGIE 2014
August 18, 2014
The annual Midwest AG Industries Exposition is upon us. Here is CropLife IRON's look at some of the products visitors can expect to see at this week's event. Read More
EquipmentAGCO Seeks Nominations For 2014 Operator Of The Year
August 15, 2014
Ag retailers throughout the U.S. and Canada are encouraged to nominate their best applicators. Read More
EquipmentAdvance Your Technology IQ At MAGIE
August 13, 2014
The Midwest AG Industries Exposition (August 20-21) is the place you need to be to see, study and evaluate how new advances in the equipment, operations, crop protection and fertility sectors can help your business prosper. Read More
ManagementCropLife’s Buyers’ Guide Issue Now Availabl…
August 13, 2014
One of our most read issues of the year — the August Buyers' Guide — is ready to download on the iPad. This popular issue features equipment for "In The Field," "At The Plant" and "In The Office." Read More
WebinarsWebinars On Demand
August 13, 2014
Register for one of our upcoming Webinars or access our archive of past Webinars to view recordings of presentations that may be of interest to you. Read More
HerbicidesBASF: Fall Burndown Benefits Go Beyond Weed Control
August 12, 2014
While unpredictable weather may delay application timing of spring herbicides, more growers are adding a burndown application in the fall Read More
HerbicidesScouting Key To Next Season’s Soybean Herbicide P…
August 12, 2014
When growing soybeans, growers need to think ahead to stay one step ahead of weeds. That means examining weed threats and evaluating which herbicides work best. Read More
StewardshipNitrogen Efficiency Supports Environmental Stewardship
August 12, 2014
As growers prepare for another harvest, it’s important to consider how nitrogen stabilization not only supports healthy plant growth but also fosters environmental stewardship. Read More
Seed/BiotechMycogen Seeds Introduces 19 New Corn Hybrids For 2015
August 12, 2014
Many of the new hybrids feature Mycogen's SmartStax Refuge Advanced technology for maximum protection of the genetic potential and planting convenience. Read More