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Kevin Pixley

Deputy Director General for Research (Breeding and Genetics), a.i., and Director of the Genetic Resources Program

Kevin Pixley leads CIMMYT’s Genetic Resources program, where he helps formulate, facilitate and oversee inter-disciplinary strategies to enhance the relevance and impacts of wheat and maize research to improve livelihoods, especially for resource-poor farmers.

Pixley and his team also use genomics, phenomics and informatics to characterize and enhance the conservation and use of maize and wheat biodiversity through CIMMYT’s Seeds of Discovery initiative, where they explore the use of crop biodiversity to address novel opportunities, including enhanced sustainability of farming systems, improved nutritional or health outcomes or value-addition for farmers. They also look for opportunities to apply novel technologies to address needs of resource-poor farmers.

He also discovers and implements mechanisms to increase equity in access to and benefits from research and technologies, and seeks to constructively contribute to societal decision making about use of technology.

Kevin Pixley provides research and administrative leadership for CIMMYT’s Genetic Resources Program.

His current research includes:

1) The genomic characterization of maize and wheat germplasm bank diversity and enhancing the use of diversity in breeding

2) The use of novel breeding tools, especially gene editing, to complement traditional breeding techniques

3) The development of tools and approaches to enhance the use of genomics in teaching the use of biodiversity in plant breeding

4) The legal frameworks governing and opportunities promoting fair access and sharing of benefits from genetic resources

5) The role of provitamin A carotenoids (and other anti-oxidants) in maize grain towards reducing mycotoxin contamination of grain

6) Science and society, including how to ensure equitable opportunity for all to access the potential benefits of science