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

Crop InputsPlatform Specialty Products To Acquire Arysta LifeScience
October 20, 2014
Once the acquisition is complete, Platform Specialty Products will combine Arysta LifeScience with previously acquired companies Agriphar and Chemtura Crop Solutions. Read More
Seed/BiotechMonsanto Offers New Support For Ferguson, Area Communities
October 8, 2014
Monsanto Co. has committed $1 million in new support for several collaborative efforts in Ferguson, MO, and surrounding communities in North St. Louis County. Read More
Seed/BiotechUnapproved Genetically Modified Wheat Found In Montana
October 3, 2014
USDA reports that one year after discovery of Monsanto's unapproved wheat in a single Oregon field disrupted U.S. wheat export sales, the GMO wheat has again been found in Montana. Read More
Equipment2014 Product Of The Year Voting
September 19, 2014
The deadline to vote for the 2014 CropLife IRON Product of the Year is October 31. Please cast your vote today to help us determine the winner. Read More
FertilizerFall Fertility 2014: Forecasting Fertilizer Use
September 7, 2014
Great crops this year have tapped the soil, and fall work is definitely called for, but how challenging will that get? Read More
CropLife 100CHS To Build $3 Billion Fertilizer Plant In North Dakota
September 5, 2014
The fertilizer plant in Spiritwood will be the single largest investment in CHS history, as well as the single largest private investment project ever undertaken in North Dakota. Read More

Latest News

CropLife 100GROWMARK Announces Appointments In Plant Food Division
October 22, 2014
GROWMARK, Inc. has announced the three key staff changes in its Plant Food Division. Read More
CropLife 100GROWMARK Appoints New VP Of Finance And Risk Management
October 22, 2014
Wade Mittelstadt has been named GROWMARK Vice President, Financial and Risk Mangement, effective December 1, 2014. Read More
FungicidesEPA Approves BASF In-Furrow Corn Fungicide
October 22, 2014
Field trials show Xanthion In-furrow fungicide provides more rapid emergence, extended residual control and improved seedling health than untreated crops. Read More
EquipmentAgraScout App Available At No Cost To Universities
October 21, 2014
AgraScout, a fast and easy to use mobile crop scouting app, is now available at no cost to University students, Read More
LegislationNew Farm Bill Program To Provide Relief To Farmers Affe…
October 21, 2014
The USDA has implemented a new Farm Bill initiative that will provide relief to farmers affected by severe weather, including drought. Read More
ManagementGreenfield Scholars Program Aims To Sustain Agronomy Wo…
October 21, 2014
The program encourages talented students to study agronomy, crop and soil sciences while cultivating networks to develop the necessary workforce to sustain the profession. Read More
Paul SchrimpfPrecision Ag: Taking It To The Hill
October 21, 2014
A new coalition took the good news message of precision agriculture to Washington, DC, last month. Read More
ManagementUSDA Awards $18 Million In Small Business Research Gran…
October 21, 2014
The grants will provide high quality, advanced research and development that will lead to technological innovations and solutions for American agriculture. Read More
FertilizerCF Industries Terminates Merger Discussions With Yara I…
October 21, 2014
CF Industries Holdings and Yara International have terminated their discussions regarding a potential merger of equals transaction. Read More
Seed/BiotechSyngenta Ranked A Top 10 Biotech Employer For Third tim…
October 20, 2014
Syngenta ranked in the top 10 among the world’s top biotech employers, according to an annual survey conducted by Science magazine. Read More
CropLife 100Wheat Growers Break Ground For New Facility At Kennebec
October 20, 2014
Wheat Growers has broke ground for a state-of-the-art shuttle loader grain handling, fertilizer and agronomy facility in Kennebec, SD. Read More
FertilizerVerdesian Life Sciences Signs Agreement With Los Alamos…
October 20, 2014
Verdesian Life Sciences has signed a licensing agreement with Los Alamos National Laboratory to develop and market LANL’s latest nitrogen enhancement technology for plants. Read More
MicronutrientsStoller Group Announces Groundbreaking At New Office Bu…
October 20, 2014
Jerry Stoller, founder and president of Stoller Group, announced the groundbreaking at the site of the company’s future headquarters in Read More
Crop InputsBioSafe Systems Opens New Production Facility In Nevada
October 20, 2014
BioSafe Systems has completed construction of a state-of-art production facility in Sparks, NV, for its line of activated peroxygen products. Read More
Crop InputsPlatform Specialty Products To Acquire Arysta LifeScien…
October 20, 2014
Once the acquisition is complete, Platform Specialty Products will combine Arysta LifeScience with previously acquired companies Agriphar and Chemtura Crop Solutions. Read More
Seed/BiotechEPA Approves Dow’s Enlist Duo Herbicide
October 15, 2014
The Enlist Weed Control System, breakthrough technology to fight resistant and tough weeds, has received the long-awaited green light from federal regulatory authorities. Read More
MicronutrientsGypsum On Farms Could Help Keep Water Clean, Not Green
October 14, 2014
Gypsum, which has roots in the past as a farm soil treatment, also may have a bright future, and not just as a booster of crops but also as a protector of water. Read More
Photo credit: The United Soybean Board/The Soybean Checkoff.
Crop InputsVerdesian Grows Sales Staff
October 14, 2014
The new account managers will drive sales growth and support relationships with key customers in the plant nutrition and seed treatment and inoculants product categories. Read More