The University of Missouri Research Expo Forum, Feb. 7, will highlight current research in agriculture, food and natural resources, along with a discussion of agricultural biotechnology that includes panelists from all sides of the issue.

The Research Expo Forum, traditionally held in October, is now a part of MU Ag Sciences Week, said Michael Chippendale, interim associate director of Missouri Experiment Station, which is sponsoring the event.

"This year, we decided to really combine forces so we have an excellent showcase for all the programs in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources," Chippendale said.

A research poster session at the Hearnes Center begins at 10:30 a.m. The posters display current research projects by students and faculty in the College. The top three student projects in two categories--MS and PhD--will each receive cash prizes.

From 2 to 4 p.m. at Reynolds Alumni Center, Chippendale will moderate the Research Expo Forum in a discussion of current issues in agricultural biotechnology.

"This is an opportunity to have an exchange of information on this very important issue," he said. "It's been set up so different viewpoints are represented on the panel: research, industry, consumer groups and producers. We hope to cover the spectrum of opinion and have knowledgeable panelists to answer whatever questions people might ask."

The five panelists are Harold Beach, a grain and livestock farmer from Leonard, MO; MU agricultural economist Nick Kalaitzandonakes; attorney Carolyn Raffensperger of the Science and Environmental Health Network; Matt Renkoski of the DuPont company; and MU plant microbiologist Jim Schoelz.

Chippendale said the purpose of the forum is to build a "constructive dialogue" about life sciences issues. "Our key mission is to be sure we're serving the public appropriately."

At Reynolds Alumni Center on the following day, Feb. 8, at 1:30 p.m., animal scientist Matt Lucy will discuss his research. The 1999 winner of the CAFNR Faculty Research Award, Lucy will demonstrate how new scientific knowledge in reproductive biology can improve animal productivity. After Lucy's presentation, Tom Sharpe, Executive Director of the MU Office of Technology and Special Projects, will talk about MU intellectual property rights procedures, including disclosure, patents, licensing and royalty distribution.

The awards for winners of the poster competitions will be presented at 3:15 p.m. at Reynolds Alumni Center.

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