Congratulations to Dr. Michael Horn as the newly elected US Correspondent to the IAPTC&B. Michael has been very active in the plant biotechnology industry for the past 21 years, first at Ciba-Geigy (then Plant Genetics)/Calgene, Agrigenetics/Mycogen/Dow, and ProdiGene/ABI. Currently, he is Director of Cell & Molecular Biology at Phyton Biotech Inc. in East Windsor, NJ. Michael has been heavily involved in helping to build the plant section of the SIVB into the dominant section of that society. He currently serves as Chair of SIVB Publications and is a member of the SIVB Board of Directors. He now wishes to help build the US membership in the IAPTC&B. Michael promises to be an excellent communicator with the membership and will always be thinking of the best interests of the IAPTC&B. Although Michael will not assume complete responsibility as US Correspondent until after this August’s meeting in China, the transition of officers has begun.

Every four years, the IAPTC&B has a World Congress. This year, the 11th International Association for Plant Tissue Culture & Biotechnology World Congress will be held in Beijing, China from August 13-18, 2006 at the Beijing International Convention Center. The theme of the Congress is: “Biotechnology and Sustainable Agriculture 2006 and Beyond”. There are several distinguished speakers who have been invited to speak at the Congress and there will be a Science and Technology Exhibition to showcase the latest technologies, programs, and products. Scientific programs of the IAPTC&B Congress will cover various aspects of plant tissue culture and biotechnology. It includes current advances in plant tissue culture, plant molecular biology and biotechnology, impact of plant biotechnology on agriculture, industry and environment, intellectual property in biotechnology, biosafety and public acceptance of genetically modified plants, biotechnology related bioinformatics and other related fields. Detailed information about the program, abstract submission, travel, online payment capabilities, and registration can be found at the website (Click on English, then click on Second Announcement). The early registration deadline is April 15, 2006, and the hotel reservation deadline is June 12, 2006.

The United States region of the IAPTC&B will be offering $1,000 travel fellowships to attend the 2006 meeting in China. Members of the IAPTC&B-US (or their students) who are in good standing will qualify for one of the fellowships. As of March 30, we have had no one apply for any of these travel fellowships! If you are planning to attend the meeting in China and are interested in an extra $1,000, please contact me. Or, if you have a graduate student who may like to attend, please nominate that student. It will be an opportunity of a lifetime!

It has been my pleasure to serve as the US Correspondent for the IAPTC&B since 2002. The finances of the organization are strong and membership is good. I look forward to assisting the new USA correspondent during the transition period in 2006.

Mark Bridgen, US Correspondent