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Distinguished Professor James Dale

Institute for Future Environments,
IFE Centres,
CTCB Centre Office

Personal

Name
Distinguished Professor James Dale
Position(s)
Professor
Institute for Future Environments,
IFE Centres,
CTCB Centre Office
Discipline *
Agricultural Biotechnology, Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Microbiology
Phone
+61 7 3138 2819
Fax
+61 7 3138 4132
Email
Location
View location details (QUT staff and student access only)
Qualifications

PhD (University of Sydney), BScAgr (University of Sydney)

Keywords

Biofortification of bananas for Africa, Geminivirus and nanovirus (BBTV) resistance, Bananas resistant to Fusarium wilt Tropical Race 4, Molecular farming - novel proteins and bioreactors, Genetic engineering of bananas, potatoes, sugarcane, Control of transgene expression and stability in plants

* Field of Research code, Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008

Experience

Distinguished Professor James Dale is the inaugural Director of the Centre for Tropical Crops and Biocommodities (CTCB) at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) which incorporates Tropical Crop Biotechnology, the Syngenta Centre for Sugarcane Biofuels Development and Sugar Research and Innovation (SRI). The CTCB consists of around 50 researchers as well as more than 25 postgraduate students. It is a horizontally integrated, multidisciplinary centre focusing on tropical crops with expertise from gene discovery and genetic modification through to biomass fractionation, processing and value adding. Its facilities range from state-of-the-art molecular biology laboratories through small scale biomass processing labs, PC2 plant growth facilities and glasshouses to a major biomass pilot plant. The CTCB has collaborative projects in Africa, Asia, Europe and North and South America.

Prof Dale has been involved in biotechnology research for more than 30 years with specific interests in (i) the biofortification of bananas, (ii) molecular farming for high value medical proteins, including vaccines, in tobacco and bioethanol from sugarcane, and (iii) the development of disease resistance in genetically modified bananas, papaya and sugarcane. He and his research team have developed a range of biotechnology methods and products for expressing transgenes in plants. He has also led research and development programs in the international arena most of which have been based in South East Asia and the South Pacific (Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Tonga, Fiji and PNG) and more recently in Africa (Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania).  Prof Dale has published more than 80 research papers, reviews and book chapters. He an inventor on 9 granted patents or patent applications of which to date the most successful has been the GeneCo technology which was sold to Affymetrix, the USA based leading DNA chip maker. He has been a member of the Australian Research Council’s College of Experts (2004-2006) and Chair of the Biological Sciences and Biotechnology Panel (2006), and has been a member of the Gene Technology Technical Advisory Committee (GTTAC) of the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (2001-2007) and the Queensland Biotechnology Advisory Council.  He was the founder and chief scientific officer of Farmacule Bioindustries, Australia’s first molecular farming company. Farmacule merged with the ASX listed company, Aquacarotene, to form the first listed molecular farming company in Australia and the new company was named Leaf Energy. In 2008, QUT and Syngenta AG formed a new collaborative centre, the Syngenta Centre for Sugarcane Biofuels Development, based within the CTCB at QUT. This centre is staffed by both QUT and Syngenta scientists with the objective of developing economically competitive cellulosic ethanol using genetically modified sugarcane. Prof Dale is leading this initiative.

Prof Dale is also leading a major international Grand Challenges in Global Health Project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to develop biofortified bananas for East Africa with potential further application in Asia. The project is a close collaboration between QUT and the National Agricultural Research Organisation of Uganda. Where appropriate, the biofortification trait is being combined with disease resistance to increase both yield and farmer adoption. The first Australian GM banana field trials, which include biofortified or disease resistant bananas, commenced in early 2009 and harvesting commenced in early 2010. There are already multiple lines with greater than the target level of pro-vitamin A. The first Ugandan field trial from this program commenced in 2010. This is possibly the first trial in sub-Saharan Africa of any GM crop where the events were generated in Africa by a national lab. In late 2012, the project was refunded for Phase 3 moving from the research phase to the development phase. The project was further expanded on 2012 into India through a collaboration with the Indian Department of Biotechnology.

In 2004, Prof Dale was made an Officer in the Order of Australia (AO) for services to agricultural biotechnology. In 2008, he was appointed as QUT’s second Distinguished Professor.

This information has been contributed by Distinguished Professor James Dale.

Publications


For more publications by this staff member, visit QUT ePrints, the University's research repository.

Awards

Awards and recognition

Type
Appointment to State/National/International Reference Group or Government Committees
Reference year
2015
Details
Chair of the Australian Research Council's Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Panel; member of the ARC College of Experts from 2004 to 2006.
Type
Fellowship of a Learned Academy or Membership of AIATSIS
Reference year
2015
Details
Elected Fellow of ATSE
Type
Other
Reference year
2014
Details
TIME Magazine Top 25 Inventions of 2014
Type
Academic Honours, Prestigious Awards or Prizes
Reference year
2004
Details
Appointed as Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for services to agricultural biotechnology

Research projects

Grants and projects (Category 1: Australian Competitive Grants only)

Title
Development of transgenic pawpaws resistant to papaya ringspot virus, type P: Phase II.
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
FR519
Start year
1995
Keywords
Title
Replication and manipulation of banana bunchy top virus.
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
Start year
1996
Keywords
Title
Generating Broad and Stable Resistance to Gemini- and Nanoviruses
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
DP0453273
Start year
2004
Keywords
Trangenic Resistance, Nanovirus, Geminiviruses, Suicide Gene
Title
Manipulation of Apoptosis-Related Genes to Generate Novel Disease Resistances in Bananas
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
DP0559687
Start year
2005
Keywords
Apoptosis Disease Resistance Transgenic bananas Fungal diseases Viral diseases Transgene expression
Title
Plant Transformation: Exploiting Anti-Apoptosis Genes for Very High Efficiency Transformation
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
DP0773649
Start year
2007
Keywords
Plant transformation, Apoptosis, Agrobacterium, Monocots, Gene silencing, Inducible promoters,
Title
Production of Novel, Exogenous Proteins in Sugarcane
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
Farm01
Start year
2009
Keywords
Sugarcane, Biofactory
Title
Optimization of Transgene Expression in Sugarcane
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
LP0990296
Start year
2010
Keywords
Sugarcane, Gene Expression, Plant Biotechnology, Plant Improvement,
Title
Extreme Expression: Building a Platform for Industrial Plant Biotechnology
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
FS100100083
Start year
2011
Keywords
Biofarming, Transgene Expression, Silencing, Inducible Expression
Title
Generation of Bananas with Resistance to Fusarium Wilt
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
LP110100186
Start year
2011
Keywords
Fusarium Wilt, Apoptosis Genes, R Genes, Banana
Title
A platform for the continuous genetic improvement of accepted cultivars of vegetatively propagated horticultural crops (HAL)
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
AI13008
Start year
2013
Keywords
Bananas, Cisgenics, Intergenerational Transgene Stability, Marker Free Transformation, Potatoes

Supervision