Prodigene has spun off its R&D in College Station, TX as an independent company called Applied Biotechnology Institute (ABI). It is owned and managed by Dr. John Howard, founder of Prodigene. Michael Horn has accepted the position of Director of Cell Biology. His new contact info is Applied Biotechnology Institute, 101 Gateway Blvd. Suite 100, College Station, TX 77845 Ph. 979-690-8537 x114, Fax 979-690-9527, e-mail: mhorn@appliedbiotech.org. Mike just returned from a trip to Brisbane, Australia where he presented a seminar entitled “Plant-derived Pharmaceutical Proteins and Edible Vaccines” at the University of Queensland. From there he traveled to Singapore where at the Biology in Asia International Conference 2004 he presented a seminar entitled ” Molecular Farming: Current Products and Future Prospects”.

Ebrahim Firoozabady, Ph.D., Director, Research & Development, Del Monte Fresh Produce Company is now splitting his time between the main lab in Richmond, CA and a new facility in Buenos Iris, Costa Rica. Once the new lab is at full strength it will have more than 30 employees.

Mary Ann Lila is returning to Egypt (Cairo and Alexandria) in January to initiate round two of a Biotechnology Grants program with emphasis on horticultural crops and upper Egypt. Mary Ann is the leader of the Biotechnology Team for a four year MUCIA USAID funded program for capacity building in Egypt, and this will be the second year of the program. The Biotech team will spend a week doing site visits of last year’s funded projects throughout Egypt, and evaluating progress. The second week will involve reviewing the next round of proposals submitted by the Egyptian investigators from universities and research institutes throughout the country.