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MRA 4 Plant Breeder Education


Principal Investigator:

Dr. Rita Mumm 

Dr. Rita Mumm is an Emeritus Professor in Quantitative Genetics and Plant Breeding at the University of Illinois and serves as a Lead Instructor in the Plant Breeding Academy (PBA) of the University of California, Davis. Dr. Mumm is also the former Director of the Illinois Plant Breeding Center and former President of the National Association of Plant Breeders. Dr. Mumm received her PhD in Genetics and Plant Breeding from the University of Illinois and has extensive experience in both the public and private plant breeding sectors. Dr. Mumm manages the SIL Breeder Education program, which focuses on sustainably building knowledge and human capital within Ghana through an African-based education platform.

Associate Investigators:


Dr. Eric Danquah
West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI)
University of Ghana

Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Eric Yirenkyi Danquah is a Professor of Plant Genetics in the Department of Crop Science in the College of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences at the University of Ghana. Dr. Danquah is also the founding Director of the West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI), an institution established in the University of Ghana as a result of his shared vision and leadership. Dr. Danquah received his PhD from the University of Cambridge and also served as a Post-doctoral Fellow at Plant Breeding International, Cambridge. Dr. Danquah is an integral partner in the SIL-WACCI partnership to establish an innovative Master of Science degree in Genetics and Plant Breeding at WACCI.


Jean-Marcel Ribaut
Generation Challenge Programme (GCP)

Jean-Marcel’s scientific background is in plant physiology and genetics, with main research interest being understanding the genetic basis and underlying physiological and metabolic pathways that influence plant performance under abiotic stress– particularly drought – as well as innovations in molecular breeding. He holds a PhD in Plant Physiology from Lausanne University, Switzerland, and has cumulative experience in agriculture biotechnology and plant breeding, project and finance management and policy formulation, as well as leadership skills for dispersed global R&D teams. Jean-Marcel has a particular interest in promoting modern breeding methods to hasten crop improvement in the developing world. He believes in true partnership and solid capacity building to overcome some of the bottlenecks in R4D, with the developing-country partners as key actors and leaders in the research arena. 


Dr. Ndeye Ndack Diop
Generation Challenge Programme (GCP) 

Curriculum Vitae

Ndeye Ndack Diop oversees GCP’s ongoing mission to build technical capacity and establish communities of practice to facilitate the flow of products from research to delivery. She also undertakes the overall coordination of the Legumes Research Initiative (known as TLI). Ndeye Ndack has an extensive portfolio of expertise in agricultural research, in addition to her multi-layered experience in project management, teaching and training. In addition, she has been an active member of diverse African science councils and committees, most notably the West African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD) and the steering committee of the West African Biosciences Network (WABNet) of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), where her work involved setting up strategies for biotech research in West Africa.