Partner's general description and participants
Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech - Université de Liège
Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech belongs to University of Liège. The Laboratory of Integrated and Urban Phytopathology, which belongs to the Department Agronomical Sciences, is involved from more than 25 years in the R&D on plant viruses, encompassing areas like diagnostic tool development and validation, population genetics, epidemiological studies, plant-virus interaction. Moreover, the laboratory is the official Germplasm Health Unit of Musa Genebank Collection of Biodiversity International (from CGIAR center) and has participated or coordinated the validation of molecular diagnostic tool at EU levels. The Laboratory corresponds to a team of 26 people (including 3 professors, 7 Post-doc, 5 technicians, 11 PhDs and 1 engineer) and hosts during 6 months an average of 10 Master trainees each year.
ULG will lead the WP2 (Improvement of the validation process) and will participate to all WPs except WP3. Team involved:
Prof. Sebastien Massart is a plant pathologist interested in diagnostics improvement, plant virology and plant microbiome research.
He started his academic position in 2015 and is currently managing a research team of 10 scientists in plant pathology. He is also the manager of the Germplasm Health Unit of Bioversity International Genebank, ensuring virus testing of the Genebank before international distribution.
He has worked during 6 years (2008-2013) in a private company developing high throughput sequencing (HTS) services for diagnostics. He is currently coordinating a COST Action (www.cost-divas.eu) involving more than 150 scientists and focused on the use of HTS technologies to study and detect plant viruses.
Sebastien speaks fluent French, English, Spanish and Catalan and has basic knowledge of Dutch.