INVITED SPEAKERS / SYMPOSIA ORGANIZERS
David Hibbett / Brief biography
David Hibbett is Professor of Biology at Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA (http://www2.clarku.edu/faculty/dhibbett/). He received his PhD in 1991 from Duke University, working with Rytas Vilgalys. Subsequently, he held postdoctoral appointments at the Tottori Mycological Institute, Japan (with Akihiko Tsuneda), and at Harvard University (with Michael Donoghue). In 2012, he served as President of the Mycological Society of America.
Hibbett’s research interests are focused on systematics of Agaricomycetes. In addition to molecular phylogenetics, he has performed studies in developmental morphology, comparative genomics, and paleomycology. He has a particular interest in the polyphyletic “lentinoid” fungi, including the shiitake genus Lentinula.
Omon S. Isikhuemhen
Omon S. Isikhuemhen is Professor of Mushroom Biology and Fungal Biotechnology at North Carolina A&T State University (NC A&TSU), Greensboro, North Carolina, USA (http://www.ncat.edu/caes/facultystaff/profiles omon_isikhuemhen.html). He received his PhD in 1999 from Institute of Microbiology, Prague, under the mentorship of Dr. Frantisek Nerud. He held postdoctoral appointments at the Forestry and Forest Product Research Institute, Japan (with Dr. Hitoshi Neda), and at East Carolina State University (with Dr. Edmond J. Stellwag), prior to joining his current university, NC A&TSU. Some of his awards include Martin-Baker award (Mycological Society of American 2001) USA Freedom Corpse: The US President’s Volunteer Service Award (Council on Service & Civic Participation, 2008).
Omon’s research interests are focused on both basic and applied mycology, especially mushrooms biology, mass production, applications as food and medicine for human and animals. To our knowledge, he is the first person to produce the Truffle Tuber borchii in cultivation on loblolly pine, only after two years and three months after out-planting in field plots. He has also done considerable research on the use of mushrooms as antibiotic replacement in animal production.
Robert B. Beelman / Brief biography
Robert B. Beelman is Professor Emeritus of Food Science and Director of the Center for Plant and Mushroom Foods for Health at University Park, Pennsylvania (USA) (http://foodscience.psu.edu/directory/rbb6). He received his B.S. in Biology in 1966 from Capital University, M.S. in 1967 and PhD in 1970 from The Ohio State University.
Recent research has focused on development of methods to enhance the levels of important bioactive components of cultivated mushrooms in order to improve their nutritional/and or medicinal value. For example, commercially practical methods have been developed to enhance the levels of selenium, ergothioneine and ergocalciferol (Vit. D2) that can make mushrooms, or their products, as the best sources of these compounds in a plant-based diet.
George Zervakis / Brief CV
Georgios I. Zervakis completed his University studies at the Agricultural University of Athens, Greece, and then conducted his PhD at the same Institution (Laboratory of General and Agricultural Microbiology) and at the University of Bordeaux – INRA (Laboratory of Molecular Genetics), France with postgraduate fellowships from IKY and the EU respectively (1993).
He was post-doctoral fellow of the Royal Society at The University of Manchester (UK), School of Biological Sciences (1994). After working as Researcher and Director at the National Agricultural Research Foundation of Greece, Institute of Kalamata (1996 – 2009), he was elected Assistant Professor in “Agricultural Microbiology – Mycology” at the Agricultural University of Athens (2009). Since 2014 he serves as Associate Professor at the same University (http://efp.aua.gr/en/userpages_en/705).
The main current activities and research interests of G. Zervakis could be summarized as follows: Ecology, systematics, molecular phylogeny and speciation of fungi, with emphasis on basidiomycetes; biodiversity and conservation of macrofungi; biotechnology of microorganisms: mushroom breeding and cultivation, bioconversion/biodegradation of agroindustrial by-products and lignocellulosic residues through the use of selected microorganisms (e.g., white-rot fungi), composting technologies and the effect of composts on plant growth and suppressiveness of soil-borne pathogens, etc.
V.K. Varshney / Brief biography
V.K.Varshney (Email: vinay.varshney5@gmail. is a Senior Scientist at Chemistry Division, Forest Research Institute, Indian Council of Forestry Research & Education (ICFRE), Dehradun (Uttarakhand), India (http://fri.icfre.gov.in/ ). He received his Ph.D. (Chemistry) in 1991 from Agra University, Agra, India. Subsequently in 1992 he joined the ICFRE as Scientist.
He is a forest product chemist and trained in various national and overseas laboratories. His research interests include upgrading the value chain of (i) non wood forest products including edible and medicinal mushrooms, and (ii) biomass residues generated from plantations, and wood and agro based industries through their chemical examination and value addition. He serves as an Honorary Editor of the ‘Journal of Biologically Active Products from Nature’ co-published with Taylor & Francis. He is also a member of the Editorial Board of the ‘International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms’ published by Begell House, USA.
Dr. John C. Holliday
John C. Holliday is Chief Scientific Officer and Senior Consultant for TDOC, LLC, a company devoted entirely to designing and building modern high yielding mushroom farms. As one of the world’s leading experts in using modern biotechnology techniques for the cultivation of exotic cellulose decomposing mushrooms such as Oyster and Shiitake mushrooms. Chief Scientific Officer for Aloha Medicinals since Jan. 2001, responsible for establishing the strategic direction and research priorities for Aloha Medicinals over 2500 species of medicinal fungi. From March 2002 to June 2007, he was Managing Director and Director of Research of Pacific Myco Products division of Aloha Medicinals Inc. in Santa Cruz, CA. From February 2002 to present, he is Managing Director of the AMI Mycology Culture Bank, a unique collection of over 11,000 cultures of medicinally and industrially important fungal strains.