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Advisory Board

The role of the Advisory Board is to:

  • Provide an impartial and critical ongoing assessment of the VALITEST project progress against objectives as well as external points of view on the research conducted so it brings maximum outcomes.
  • Highlight new developments in the diagnostics sector that will have an impact on the direction and potential impact of the VALITEST project.
  • Provide guidance on measures to ensure sustainable impacts of VALITEST beyond the Project's lifetime and serve as an additional dissemination channel for Project outcomes.
  • Identify links between VALITEST and other relevant ongoing initiatives in the area within Europe and worldwide to ensure and maximise dissemination of information to and from the VALITEST project in order to take advantage of the knowledge produced by other initiatives before and during the Project lifespan.
  • Advise the Coordinator, Management Board and Steering Committee on any relevant issues.

Members of the Advisory Board


Neil Boonham is a plant pathologist and molecular biologist with 25 years experience of developing and deploying diagnostics for plant health use. He has a keen interest in how diagnostics can be used to generate data that can help farmers make improved decisions on farm. He has published more than 120 refereed journal publications and contributed to a number of books and international conferences.


Ms Adriana Gonçalves Moreira holds a PhD degree and a Master’s degree in plant pathology, with emphasis on plant virology. She is Standard Setting Officer / Programme Specialist at the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) - Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN). She is also the Deputy Assistant to Team Lead of the Standard Setting Unit.
When Adriana G. Moreira joined the IPPC (and FAO) in October 2012 she took the role as IPPC Secretariat lead for the Technical Panel on Diagnostic Protocols (TPDP). Currently, she is also the Secretariat lead for the Technical Panel on Phytosanitary Treatments (TPPT), several expert working groups, which have the objective of drafting International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPMs). She also provides full support for the Standards Committee (SC), leading the SC-7 each year, and took the lead for the CPM Recommendations process.
She is author and co-author of several scientific publications, book chapters and other type of training materials. Before joining the IPPC she was working in the seed industry for a multinational company, and was the plant quarantine lead coordinating a post-entry quarantine station accredited by the national government, and plant pathologist senior for research (R&D) germplasm material. She also worked with the development and implementation of plant pathogens prevention and control programmes, and with products’ test performance.
Languages: Portuguese (mother tongue), English (fluent) and Spanish (working knowledge).


Mark Nakhla, PhD -plant pathologist, is the director of Beltsville Laboratory, center of plant health science and technology Beltsville, Maryland, USA. He has 45 years of experience in developing diagnostic tests for the detection and identification of plant pathogens. He has contributed to more than 70 publications in peer-reviewed journals in the field of plant pathology.


Moti Sabban holds a Master's degree in developmental biology with extensive knowledge in molecular biology and plant pathology. He Leads the quality department and laboratories department at OriGene Seeds. He is an active member and Israel country lead in the International Seed Health Initiative (ISHI)


Roland Willmann holds a PhD in biochemistry. He leads the department for seed and plant health research and test development at BASF Vegetable Seeds and is an active contributor to the International Seed Health Initiative (ISHI)

EU H2020
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement n°773139.

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