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

CropLife 100Agrium To Cut 500 Jobs, Sell Some Businesses
November 11, 2014
Among the businesses Agrium will try to sell are its micronutrients and European UAN (urea-ammonium nitrate) lines. Read More
HerbicidesMonsanto, Sumitomo Chemical And Valent Extend Crop Protection Collaboration
November 10, 2014
The agreement extends their strategic partnership in Monsanto’s Roundup Ready PLUS Crop Management Solutions platform for soybeans and cotton in the U.S. Read More
FertilizerCorn Rootworm Hybrids And Potassium Uptake
November 4, 2014
To achieve successful yields, grower-customers can’t afford to cut back on their potassium use with corn rootworm hybrids, say experts. Read More
StewardshipResponsibleAg Begins Auditor Training
October 31, 2014
ResponsibleAg auditor training is now underway at the Ford B. West Center for Responsible Agriculture in Owensboro, KY. Read More
InsecticidesNew Research Study Shows The Value Of Neonics
October 29, 2014
The study evaluated seed treatment, soil and foliar uses of neonicotinoid insecticides in the U.S. and Canada. Read More
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

Latest News

EquipmentAGCO Announces Operator Of The Year Finalists
November 20, 2014
Four custom applicators have been selected by AGCO Application Equipment as finalists for 2014 Operator of the Year, an honor that recognizes them as being among the top professionals in their industry throughout North America. Read More
MicronutrientsH.J. Baker Expands Tiger-Sul Business
November 20, 2014
H.J. Baker has created and filled two strategic positions in business development and sales within its Crop Performance Division. Read More
soybean field
FertilizerGeneral Mills Honors United Suppliers For Nitrogen Opti…
November 19, 2014
United Suppliers winning proposal detailed SUSTAIN, a consulting network that provides customized products and services for farmers using a needs-based system approach. Read More
EmployeesOhio AgriBusiness Association Awards $25,000 In Scholar…
November 19, 2014
Each year, the Ohio AgriBusiness Association Educational Trust scholarship program awards scholarship dollars to students enrolled in an agriculture-related field attending several state colleges. Read More
ManagementServi-Tech Names New CEO
November 17, 2014
Servi-Tech has named Greg Ruehle its new president and CEO. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Ag Acquires Colorado Aerial Application Outlet
November 17, 2014
Ft. Lupton, CO-based Reck Aviation — a full-service chemical application company providing aerial crop applications of fertilizers and crop protection products — will operate as part of Pinnacle's AgOne Application Services brand. Read More
Eric SfiligojMcDonald’s Message: Biotech Crops Scarier Than Cancer
November 17, 2014
Despite their potential health benefits, one of the world’s largest potato users will pass on a new biotech offering. Read More
MicronutrientsWinField Releases 2014 NutriSolutions Results
November 14, 2014
A number of significant regional and national crop deficiency trends emerged from the 2014 WinField NutriSolutions tissue sampling program. Read More
FertilizerH.J. Baker Opens Chinese Production Lines
November 14, 2014
The occasion was the official launch of the Tiger-Sul sulphur Bentonite production line of two much anticipated fertilizer products in China, T90CR sulphur fertilizer and TZinc micronutrient enhanced sulphur fertilizer. Read More
ManagementOhio Certified Crop Adviser Program Accepting Nominatio…
November 14, 2014
The award recognizes an individual who delivers exceptional customer service for farmer clients in nutrient management, soil and water management, integrated pest management and crop production in Ohio. Read More
HerbicidesSyngenta Announces Acuron Trial Plot Results
November 14, 2014
Acuron was tested at 167 trial locations across 35 states. Trials included 95 Syngenta locations, 54 university locations and 18 distributor locations. Read More
Crop InputsVerdesian Expands Sales Force
November 13, 2014
The new sales representatives will work with growers, retail partners and distributors to oversee technical training and product education. Read More
EquipmentAGCO Raises $100K For Wounded Warrior Project
November 13, 2014
AGCO Corp. partnered with local AGCO dealers across the U.S. and Canada to raise nearly $100,000 in support of wounded service veterans. Read More
HerbicidesDow AgroSciences Announces Launch Of Enlist Duo Herbici…
November 12, 2014
It will be launched in conjunction with a stewarded introduction of Enlist corn, and seed production of Enlist soybeans in 2015. Read More
FertilizerH.J. Baker Expands Tiger-Sul Business
November 12, 2014
Agricultural firm H.J. Baker has created and filled two strategic positions in business development and sales within its Crop Performance Division. Read More
Blenders13 Fertilizer Blenders For 2015
November 12, 2014
Dealers can find a fertilizer blender to deliver any speed, volume and custom mix they want. Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Vice President Receives Honorary FFA Award
November 11, 2014
Jim Loar, vice president of operations of Wilbur-Ellis’ Agribusiness Division, was awarded the Honorary American FFA Degree at the 2014 National FFA Convention and Expo in Louisville, KY. Read More
FertilizerBASF Makes Limus Nitrogen Management Available In U.S.
November 11, 2014
Reducing ammonia losses by more than 90%, Limus nitrogen management has demonstrated increased crop yields on average of 6%, according to 2013 replicated research. Read More