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Howard Shapiro  

Chief Agricultural Officer & Mars Advanced Research Institute Fellow at Mars Incorporated

Howard Shapiro, Ph.D. has been involved with resilient agricultural and agroforestry systems, plant breeding, molecular biology and genetics for over 50 years. He has worked with indigenous communities, NGO’s, governmental agencies and the private sector around the world.

His career spans both academic and corporate sectors. He is the Chief Agricultural Officer, Mars Advanced Research Institute Fellow, Mars, Incorporated, as well as a Senior Fellow at UC Davis, College of Agriculture and Environmental Science, Distinguished Fellow of the World Agroforestry Centre and Science Advisor MIT-Media Lab. He served as Chairperson of the Board of the Agriculture Sustainability Institute at UC Davis for a decade.

Shapiro founded the African Orphan Crops Consortium (AOCC) and the African Plant Breeding Academy (AfPBA) in 2011. The effort will sequence, assemble and annotate 101 key food cultivars, which are the backbone of African nutrition and train 150 mid-career plant breeders in modern breeding technology.

In October of 2017 he launched with collaborators the Foldit Aflatoxin Puzzle with 460,000 gamers to redesign and improve enzymes to degrade the aflatoxin.

He collects and restores modern Japanese and Italian motorcycles, becoming a member of the 200 Mile Per Hour Club on an unrestricted 1999 Suzuki Hayabusa. averaging 201.386 MPH at the Bonneville Salt Flats.

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