Scientists to prioritise herbicide discovery

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Bayer CropScience in Frankfurt, Germany, has employed Australian and New Zealand postdoctoral chemists under the new GRDC–Bayer CropScience Herbicide Innovation Partnership, which aims to develop novel chemistry for managing herbicide-resistant weeds.

Bayer CropScience business development manager Peter MacLeod says the postdoctoral program is one of the first steps in the joint R&D partnership announced in June 2015.

As part of this partnership, the GRDC will contribute $45 million over five years, and receive royalties and milestone payments on new herbicide products derived from the joint venture.

About to help discover these products are 10 postdoctoral chemists focused on identifying and assessing new chemical molecules with the potential to replace existing herbicides that have succumbed to resistance, Mr MacLeod says.

He says the postdoctoral chemists, “highly skilled in molecule creation”, are set to start working in new laboratories at the Frankfurt facility in teams of three or four led by Bayer CropScience senior scientists from December 2015.

“They have a very important role in the early stages of developing new herbicides for Bayer CropScience and the GRDC, screening and analysing chemical molecules that have the potential to provide new options for weed control,” Mr MacLeod says.

“The postdoctoral program is also expected to help build the capacity of the young scientists and the overall weeds research capacity at Bayer CropScience.”

Participating in the program are: Dr Bruno Basic and Dr Erin Smith from Curtin University; Dr Darran Loits, Dr Dayna Sturgess and Dr Aaron Brown and Dr Stephanie Bellmaine from the University of Melbourne; Dr Katherine Law from the University of Sydney; Dr Eric Harris from Australian National University; Dr Daniel Chorley from the University of Auckland; and Dr Christopher Gardner, from the University of New South Wales.

More information:

Peter MacLeod, Bayer CropScience
03 9248 6895
0439 632 451 
peter.macleod@bayer.com

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