The hidden side of clinical trials

Watch the AllTrials TEDx talk on YouTube

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Evidence matters to the public

Join us on 1st November at Parliament to make the case

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Plant Science Panel

Insecticides, biofuels, GMOs …

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'The Ugly Truth'

by Tracey Brown, director of Sense About Science

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Declared Interests

Declared interests 

Professor Ottoline Leyser

Employment and paid consultancies
Director, The Sainsbury Laboratory, University of Cambridge
Company of Biologists, Editor of Development
European Research Council, grants board member
Ad hoc payments for one off consultancies for universities and research institutes, funders etc.
Gatsby Foundation, Plant Science Advisor
John Innes Centre Science Advisory Board, Chair elect
Current Opinion in Plant Biology, Co-Editor in Chief
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council occasional committee work

Other organisations (unpaid)
Umea Plant Science Centre: Advisory Board Member
Gregor Mendel Institute, Vienna: Advisory Board Member
Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Tubingen: Advisory Board Member
European Molecular Biology Organisation: Member
Athena Forum: Chair
Clare College, Cambridge: Fellow
Royal Society of Biology: Fellow
Royal Society: Fellow and Chair, Science Policy Advisory Group
National Academy of Science, USA: Foreign associate
Leopoldina: Member
International Plant Molecular Biology: Past President
British Society for Developmental Biology: Chair
Sense About Science: Plant science panel member
Science and Plants for Schools: Grant holder
International Plant Growth Substances Association: Council member
John Innes Centre Governing Council
Numerous academic Journals: Advisory Editorial Board member
NIAB Innovation Farm Advisory Group
Government Department of Business Innovation and Skills, Diversity Steering Committee
One off consultancies for universities and research institutes, funders etc
Science Media Centre: Trustee

Current research funding
The Gatsby Charitable Foundation (a Sainsbury Family Charity)
The European Research Council
The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

Matt Audley

Current Research funding: BBSRC
Ad hoc paid consultancy for research institutions, funders etc.
Sense About Science: Plant science panel member (voluntary)

Professor Jonathan Jones

Completed his PhD at the Plant Breeding Institute in Cambridge, and then worked on symbiotic nitrogen fixation at Harvard. He began making GM plants in 1983 at a startup agbiotech company, Advanced Genetic Sciences (now defunct) in Oakland California, where he worked for 5 years.

Since 1988, Jones has been a researcher at the Sainsbury Lab in Norwich (, funded largely by David Sainsbury’s private charity the Gatsby Foundation.

Jones is cofounder of (in 1997) and science advisor to the biotech company Mendel Biotechnology. Monsanto was a major client, but no longer is. As of July 2010, Mendel had been granted over 20 biotechnology and GM patents. In its 2008 Annual Report it listed as one of two lines of business that were central to its growth a collaborative project with Monsanto on soybean yield, “the basis of which is a Mendel technology”. However it is not clear if this trait will be brought to market. Mendel’s 2009 Annual Report noted two collaborative partnerships: one with Monsanto and the other with Bayer CropScience.

Jones also co-founded Norfolk Plant Sciences in 2007 with Prof Cathie Martin of JIC, with the goal of bringing flavonoid-enriched tomatoes to market ( Regulatory constraints in Europe mean that the benefits of this product are likely to brought to market in Canada before this happens in Europe.

He is also on the Science advisory board of Nomad Biosciences in Halle, Germany, which aims to produce human pharmaceutical and other valuable proteins using plant viruses rather than GM plants.

He recently became a science advisor to start-up Scottish biotech company Synpromics (

Jones is on the board of and the science advisory board of David Sainsbury’s 2Blades foundation (

In addition to his basic science programs, Jones has isolated and is isolating new resistance genes against potato late blight from wild relatives of potato, with the goal of using them to deliver market-favoured potato varieties that are protected from late blight by genes, rather than by chemistry. Patents have been filed on the Rpi-vnt1 gene, which was trialled in Norfolk, and the gene is being commercialized in the US by Simplot (