John Innes Centre
The John Innes Centre (JIC)
|John Innes Horticultural Institution (JIHI)|
The John Innes Centre (JIC) located in Norwich, Norfolk, England, is an independent centre for research and training in plant and microbial science. It is a registered charity (No 223852) grant-aided by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the European Research Council (ERC) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and is a member of the Norwich Research Park. In 2014, JIC was awarded a silver Athena SWAN Charter award for equailty in the workplace.
The John Innes Horticultural Institution was founded in 1910 at Merton Park, Surrey (now London Borough of Merton), with funds bequeathed by John Innes, a merchant and philanthropist. The Institution occupied Innes's former estate at Merton Park until 1945 when it moved to Bayfordbury, Hertfordshire. It moved to its present site in 1967.
John Innes Compost was developed by the institution in the 1930s.
In the 1980s, the administration of the John Innes Institute was combined with that of the Plant Breeding Institute and the Nitrogen Fixation Laboratory. In 1994, following the relocation of the operations of other two organisations to the Norwich site, the three were merged as the John Innes Centre.
The institute is divided into six departments: Biological Chemistry, Cell & Developmental Biology, Computational & Systems Biology, Crop Genetics, Metabolic Biology and Molecular Microbiology.
JIC has a tradition of training PhD students and post-docs. PhD degrees obtained via JIC are awarded by the University of East Anglia. JIC has a contingent of postdoctoral researchers, many of whom are recruited onto the institute's Post-doctoral Training Fellowship programme. JIC also sponsors seminars and lectures, including the Bateson Lecture and the Biffen Lecture.
The research at JIC is divided into 4 Institute Strategic Programs (ISPs) which are funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) which combine research of multiple groups to address a greater aim:
- Growth and Development underpinning yield (GRO)
- Biotic interactions for crop productivity (BIO) in association with the The Sainsbury Laboratory
- Understanding and exploiting plant and microbial metabolism (MET)
- Wheat Improvement Strategic Programme (WISP), which is a program with other BBSRC institutes Rothamsted Research and National Institute for Agricultural Botany (NIAB) and the University of Nottingham and the University of Bristol.
JIC is also the Norwich base of the Sainsbury Laboratory, an institute focused on plant disease. Although well integrated with JIC, The Sainsbury Laboratory is closely affiliated with the University of East Anglia.
The John Innes Centre has been directed by:
- William Bateson from 1910 to 1926;
- Sir A. Daniel Hall, from 1926 to 1939;
- C. D. Darlington from 1939 to 1953;
- K. S. Dodds from 1953 to 1967;
- Roy Markham from 1967 to 1980;
- Harold Woolhouse from 1980 to 1988;
- Richard B. Flavell from 1988 to 1999.
- Chris Lamb from 1999 to 2009.
- Dale Sanders 2009 to date
Notable Staff and Alumni
Former staff and alumni include William Ormston Backhouse, Rowland Biffen, David Baulcombe, Liam Dolan, David Hopwood, Charles Leonard Huskins, Nicholas Harberd, Richard Anthony Jefferson, Georgii Karpechenko, Kenneth Mather, Elizabeth Anne Edwards, Giles Oldroyd, Leonard Francis La Cour, Morley Benjamin Crane, Dan Lewis, Cathie Martin, Mike D Gale, Mike Bevan and Clayton Oscar Person. Also Doctor Gordon Mark Leo Haskell who left in about 1958 to become Head of Genetics at the Scottish Crop Research Station, Invergowrie near Dundee until 1965 . He was then Head of Biology at Portsmouth Polytechnic until 1967 when he died suddenly aged 47.
John Innes Foundation
The John Innes Foundation (JIF) is an independent charitable foundation (registered Charity No. 1111527)and was formed in 1910 by John Innes. JIF set up the John Innes Horticultural Institution (JIHI) at Merton, London. Currently, the JIF owns the land and buildings at Newfound Farm, Colney and Church Farm, Bawburgh, Norfolk which are used by researchers from the John Innes Centre. The JIF trustees also play an active part in the management of JIC research and have the right to appoint three members of the Governing Council. They sponsor several graduate studentships each year, support for educational programmes and the infrastructure of the site. They also fund student awards for scientific excellence and science communication. The Foundation owns a very significant collection of archive material held at JIC.
The Special Collection and the History of Genetics Library
The John Innes Centre is home to a collection of rare botanical books, lab books, manuscripts and letters documenting the history of genetics and research carried out by its scientists. This includes a letter from William Bateson documenting the first use of the word "Genetics". The History of Genetics library also contains the archives of the Genetical Society.
An important part of the John Innes Centre is its Germplasm Resources Unit (GRU). This seedbank houses a number of germplasm collections, including the Watkins Landrace Wheat Collection, JIC Pisum Collection, BBSRC Small Grain Cereal Collection, Crop wild relative collection and several specialist genetic stocks collections. This material is extensively used by UK and non-UK researchers and breeders, and is an available upon request to research, academic and commercial efforts, subject to availability. The complete list of the material can be found in the GRU database.
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- John Innes Centre, History. Retrieved 2008-08-10.
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- John Innes Centre, Science Departments. Retrieved 2008-08-10.
- Sainsbury’s laboratory
- University of East Anglia
- Institute of food research
- British Science Association