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Editor profiles

Senior Editorial Board Members

Shane Burgess

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Dr Burgess has worked world-wide as a veterinarian and research scientist in cancer, virology, bioenergy, proteomics, genomics, immunology, computational biology and bioinformatics research in humans and other animals, microbes and plants.  He graduated with distinction as a veterinarian in 1989 from Massey University, New Zealand. He did a radiology residency at Murdoch University in Perth in Western Australia, where he concurrently co-founded Perth’s first emergency veterinary clinic. He has managed aquaculture facilities in Scotland. Between 1995 and 1998, while working full time outside of the academy, he did his Ph.D. in virology, immunology and cancer biology (conferred by Bristol University Medical School, UK). Dr. Burgess worked in the UK World Reference Laboratory for Exotic Diseases during the 2001 Foot and Mouth Disease crisis. At Mississippi State University (MSSU) he launched the AgBase Gene Ontology databases and started, and was the founding director of, the MSSU Institute for Genomics, Biocomputing and Biotechnology. Dr. Burgess is Vice President for Agriculture, Life and Veterinary Sciences, and Cooperative Extension, Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and Director, Arizona Experiment Station at the University of Arizona. 

Keiichi Mochida

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Dr. Keiichi Mochida, Ph.D. is Team Leader of Cellulose Production Research Team, Center for Sustainable Resource Science, RIKEN, and specially-appointed Professor in the Institute of Plant Science and Resources, Okayama University. He joined the Editorial Board of BMC Genomics as Section Editor in 2015. 

Dr. Mochida completed his Ph.D in Kihara Institute for Biological Research, Yokohama City University. His current research focuses on exploration of useful genetic variations to improve biomass productivity in grasses and discovery of genes involved in vigor traits in allopolyploid plant species.

Jacqueline Smith

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Dr. Jacqueline Smith is a Career Track Fellow at The Roslin Institute in Edinburgh. She joined the Editorial Board of BMC Genomics in 2015.

Dr. Smith completed her Ph.D. in genetics at The University of St. Andrews and then pursued her postdoctoral training in avian genomics at The Roslin Institute.

Her interests lie primarily in examining the host response to avian viral infections and trying to understand the genetic mechanisms of resistance, particularly with regard to Marek’s Disease Virus and avian flu. She also works as part of the Centre for Tropical Livestock Genetics and health (CTLGH), which is a collaboration between Roslin, SRUC (Scotland’s Rural College) and ILRI (International Livestock Research Institute) in Africa.

Theo Smits

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Prof. Theo H. M. Smits is lecturer at the Zürich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) in Wädenswil, Switzerland. After his MSc in Bioprocess Engineering at the University of Wageningen (NL), he received his PhD in 2001 at the Institute of Biotechnology of the ETH in Zurich (CH), working on the microbial degradation of linear alkanes. After a few years as PostDoc in Lausanne (CH) and Constance (D), he moved in 2007 to the Agroscope Research Center in Wädenswil, where he started to work with bacterial genomes. His research focus was on the genomics of the fire blight pathogen and of biocontrol strains. In 2013, he moved to the Environmental Genomics and Systems Biology research group at the ZHAW and expanded his research in the fields of transcriptomics and metagenomics. In 2012, he was asked to join the editorial board of BMC Genomics as an Associate Editor and became a Section Editor in 2015.

Cesar Martins

New Content ItemCesar Martins joined the Editorial Board of BMC Genetics in 2008 and became a Section Editor in 2016 before joining BMC Genomics as a Senior Editorial Board Member in 2020. He received his PhD in Genetics and Evolution from Federal University of São Carlos in 2000 and is currently a Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology and Genomics at São Paulo State University. Martins’s research interest is directed to Chromosome and Genome evolution, with emphasis on B chromosome biology. His lab works with genomics, bioinformatics, epigenetics and cytogenetics tools focused in a functional view of the cell environment under the effects of B chromosome presence. Currently, he is the Dean of the Institute of Bioscience at São Paulo State University.

Li Ma

New Content ItemDr. Ma joined the Editorial Board of BMC Genetics in 2014 and became a Section Editor in 2016. He joined BMC Genomics as a Senior Editorial Board Member in 2020. He received Ph.D. in Quantitative Genetics from University of Minnesota in 2010. After that, He worked as postdoctoral fellow with Alon Keinan and Andrew Clark in the Department of Biological Statistics and Computational Biology at Cornell University. In 2013, Dr. Ma joined the faculty of the Department of Animal and Avian Sciences at University of Maryland, College Park as Assistant Professor. Dr. Ma's research interest is centered on elucidating the genetic basis of complex traits of animals and humans, which can leads to better understanding of the underlying biology and more accurate prediction of animal performance and disease risks. In particular, he focuses on developing statistical approaches and computing tools to boost the power of current and future sequencing-based studies, including genome-wide association and genomic selection/prediction studies.

Roland Kölliker

New Content ItemDr. Roland Kölliker works as Senior Scientist in the Molecular Plant Breeding department of ETH Zurich in Switzerland. He received his Doctoral Degree in 1998 from ETH Zurich for his work on genetic variability of forage grasses in permanent and temporary grasslands. After a two years Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Melbourne, Australia, he took up a research position at the Agroscope Research Station in Zurich Reckenholz in 2000 where he started to work at the interface of plant breeding and molecular ecology. In 2017, he moved to ETH Zurich where he leads a subgroup on forage crop genetics. He served on the editorial board of BMC Genetics since 2011 and was appointed Senior Editorial Board Member of BMC Genomics in 2020.

Dr. Kölliker’s research interests are in the area of molecular genetics and genomics of grassland species with emphasis on the development of tools for plant breeding and plant ecology. In particular, he is interested in the analysis of the complex interactions of forage grasses and legumes with their fungal and bacterial pathogens using genome sequencing transcriptomics, and applied statistics. Another focus lies on the analysis of genetic diversity and its exploitation for plant improvement.

Rongling Wu

New Content ItemDr. Wu joined the Editorial Board of BMC Genetics in 2009 and served as a Section Editor on Statistical and Computational Genetics in 2011. He then moved to BMC Genomics as a senior editorial board member in 2020. Dr. Wu received his PhD in forest genetics at the University of Washington in 1995. He was appointed as Assistant Professor of Statistics at the University of Florida in 2000 and awarded the University Foundation Professorship in 2007. Since 2008, Dr. Wu has been Professor and Distinguished Professor and served as Director of the Center of Statistical Genetics at The Pennsylvania State University.

Dr. Wu develops a transdisciplinary approach for building up multilayer, multiscale and multifunctional bridges that link genotype to phenotype. Dr. Wu asks, answers, and disseminates biologically meaningful questions in the boundaries of statistics, genetics, ecology, and evolution. He has developed functional mapping to reveal the genetic architecture of developmental trajectories and integrated this approach into the context of evo-devo research into evolutionary novelties. More recently, Dr. Wu has introduced game theory into complex-trait mapping, from which a so-called systems evolutionary game network theory is proposed to deepen and broaden the field of quantitative genetics. Dr. Wu has published steadily in mainstream scholarly journals, with work cited and highlighted by top journals.

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