Lead Developer of RTDS Technology to Take the Helm at Cibus Global
Dr. Peter Beetham Poised to Bring Company’s First Product to Market, While Expanding into New Global Frontiers
SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Keith Walker, Ph.D., who has led Cibus since the company was founded in 2001, has announced his retirement. Rapid Trait Development System (RTDS™) developer, and Cibus’ Sr. VP of Research and Development Peter Beetham has been tapped to take the top position at the cutting-edge precision gene editing firm. Walker has been named to the Cibus Board of Directors.
“Keith’s leadership and vision have been an essential part of the founding and development of Cibus and its technology from the ground up”
“Peter combines a deep scientific understanding and research background with the ability to see possibilities for commercialization and utility. His intimate work as a member of the original founding group, his knowledge from leading the development efforts for the Cibus’ core technology coupled with his management of Cibus’ R&D efforts make Peter the ideal candidate to lead Cibus in its next stage of commercialization and growth of its technology across the global market,” said Rory Riggs, Chairman of the Cibus Board of Directors.
Dr. Beetham received his Ph.D. from Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, and has led the development of Cibus’ core technologies in gene editing that have driven the company’s expansion to more than 100 employees with over 70 scientists focusing exclusively on advancing Cibus’ patented and unique gene editing technologies. Prior to co-founding Cibus, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the Boyce Thompson Institute at Cornell University, where he pioneered the early work that led to Cibus’ Rapid Trait Development System.
Dr. Walker has had a transformative career in the food and agriculture technology industry that spans over 40 years. Since co-founding Cibus in 2001, Dr. Walker has overseen the research of new, patented trait tools, as well as the growth of Cibus’ business initiatives, including global expansion with satellite offices in locations such as Minnesota and the Netherlands. A leader in cutting edge biotechnology research, Dr. Walker’s career included a variety of management positions at companies including Mycogen Corporation, Agrigenetics Company and Plant Genetics, Inc. (PGI).
“Keith’s leadership and vision have been an essential part of the founding and development of Cibus and its technology from the ground up,” Riggs continued. “It is through his dedication and expertise that we have this technology portfolio. It’s rare to find someone with such keen business skills who also has in-depth knowledge of scientific research. Our technology is where it is today due to his tireless efforts. We are very appreciative that he will remain engaged with Cibus and its technology as a member of the Board.”
Greg Gocal, Ph.D., the current Vice President of Research at Cibus, also a member of the founding group has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Research and Development to oversee all research activities at Cibus. Dr. Gocal received his Ph.D. from the Australian National University, and prior to joining Cibus held prestigious research positions and headed the molecular biology group at Valigen. Dr. Gocal, who has authored numerous peer-reviewed publications, several book chapters and is a co-inventor of many patent applications within Cibus’ patent estate, will lead new research projects and initiatives.
Both Dr. Beetham and Dr. Gocal played leading roles in the development of Cibus’ first commercial product, SU Canola™ (Sulfonylurea Tolerant), as well as helping steer the RTDS™ technology and traits developed using Cibus’ technologies to gain regulatory approval as a non-GMO technology in the United States, Canada, the EU and China. Cibus launched SU Canola™ in the United States in 2014, and the Company recently received Plant Novel Trait (PNT) approval by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Health Canada (HC). With this regulatory approval, Cibus is permitted to fully commercialize SU Canola™ in Canada.
About Cibus Global
Cibus Global is a leading precision gene editing company with a unique, patented technology for naturally modifying cell functions. Its technology enables access to global multibillion-dollar markets in agriculture, specialty chemicals, and human health. It offers a disruptive alternative to transgenic approaches. The Company has a worldwide presence, with subsidiaries in both Europe and North America, including Nucelis, its bioindustrials division, and a state of the art research and development center in San Diego, California. Our core purpose is to lead the transition to sustainable agricultural and industrial products and improved human health by safely harnessing Nature’s own genetic diversity.