Malcolm Charles Elliott print  
Malcolm Elliott is the Professor of Plant Molecular Biology and Executive Director of The Norman Borlaug Institute for Crop Improvement. He graduated with First Class Honours in Plant Sciences from The University of Wales (1963) and received his PhD in plant biochemistry from The University of Wales in 1966. He was a Fulbright Scholar and Research Fellow at Yale University (1967–69); Lecturer in Plant Biochemistry at The University of Leicester (1969–71); Professor and Head of The School of Life Sciences at De Montfort University, Leicester (1971–94); Chairman of The College of Deans at De Montfort University (1989–93) then Founding Executive Director of The Norman Borlaug Institute (1994 to date). Professor Elliott is the author of several hundred research publications with emphasis on molecular biological approaches to cereal improvement. He is frequently invited to speak on the genetic enhancement of crops for the benefit of developing countries. He was awarded the Charles University Medal (1992), the Gregor Mendel Gold Medal for Biological Sciences Research of Exceptional Merit (1993) and the Jan Evangelista Purkyne Medal (1994).
Professor Elliott sees The Norman Borlaug Institute's role as facilitating the delivery of food security and creation of wealth in the developing world by applying cutting edge plant science techniques in crop improvement programmes which will enable the sustainable enhancement of global agricultural production.
Starvation, Obesity, or.............:Quo Vadis?
The world has 6.47 billion people. Every night some 850 million of them try to sleep through the pain of hunger while more than a billion ponder the aesthetic and medical implications of being clinically overweight/obese. Obesity is not just an issue for the developed countries of the North; starvation and obesity coexist in the same countries reflecting major changes in diet and physical activity patterns around the world. In fact levels of overweight/obesity are increasing faster in the developing world than in high income countries. Moreover, obesity is particularly prevalent in adolescents and this condition can persist into adulthood. The predicted increase in morbidity from related non-communicable diseases is likely to add a major burden to existing over-stretched and often failing or embryonic health services. It is increasingly recognised that diet and nutrition are key components of any preventative health strategy aimed at counteracting such diseases as those spanned by metabolic syndrome, including obesity, insulin resistance, hyperlipidaemia and hypertension. Metabolic syndrome greatly increases the chances of developing type two diabetes and coronary heart disease. Some cancers and osteoporosis are also linked to diet. In consequence a holistic approach to food production is now required in order to ensure not only an adequate supply for basic food security for all, but also to optimise diets as the next major goal for health promotion and non-communicable disease prevention. So in addition to exploiting our increasing understanding of genomics for improved plant breeding via genetic enhancement, the same technology is also of strategic importance for improving the health and well-being of people worldwide through a better appreciation of phenotypic variation due to genotype and diet. This new field of “nutrigenomics” recognises that one’s diet should, ideally, be uniquely tailored to the specific demands of one’s own or at least one’s culture’s genetic profile.