Seed Biotechnology Center
Seed Biotechnology Center
Seed Biotechnology Center
University of California
Seed Biotechnology Center

Contact Information

PRB Fall 2012 - cropped



University of California, Davis
Department of Plant Sciences
Mail Stop 5
One Shields Avenue
Davis CA 95616-8780


Phone: 530-754-7333
Fax: 530-752-2278



Seed Biotechnology Center

University of California, Davis

Plant Reproductive Biology

Extension Center Drive

Davis, CA 95616 





Director, Kent J. Bradford


Plant Reproductive Biology, Room 1107
530-752-6087 Office phone
530-752-2278 Fax 

Faculty web page

Bradford Research Team


Kent received B.S. and M.S. degrees in Biochemistry and Horticulture from Michigan State University and received his Ph.D. in Plant Physiology from UC Davis in 1981. Dr. Bradford is the founding Director of the Seed Biotechnology Center and a professor in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis. Dr. Bradford, as Academic Director of the SBC, oversees, promotes and conducts the outreach, education and research activities of the Center.

Associate Director, Susan C. (Webster) DiTomaso


Plant Reproductive Biology, Room 1101
530-754-7333 Office phone
530-570-7989 Mobile phone
530-752-2278 Fax


Sue received a B.S. degree in Agricultural Science from Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo, and an Agriculture Teaching Credential from the University of California, Davis. She is a graduate of the California Agricultural Leadership Program. Ms. DiTomaso is the Center's Associate Director. She coordinates public relations and outreach activities, Center administration and program development.

Education Director, Rale Gjuric


Plant Reproductive Biology, Room 1112
209-688-5116 Mobile phone
530-752-2278 Fax 


Rale is the director of education at the Seed Biotechnology Center. He is the founder and president of HAPLOTECH Inc., a company specialized in technical services and consulting in plant breeding. Dr. Gjuric received his Ph.D. from the University of Manitoba, Canada; his M.Sc. from the University of Novi Sad, Serbia; and his B.Sc. from the University of Sts. Cyril and Methodius, Macedonia. Previously, he held the positions of Breeding Manager of DL Seeds; Research and Managing Director of DSV Canada; all in Winnipeg Canada. Dr. Gjuric is an accomplished plant breeder with numerous canola varieties and hybrids released in his 15 years in the private sector. His current focus is in service to the plant breeding industry with special interest in organization and optimization of plant breeding programs.

Program Manager, Phyllis Himmel

Phyllis Himmel, CPPSI

Plant Reproductive Biology, Room 1112
530-752-5874 Office phone
530-752-2278 Fax



Dr. Himmel joined the UCD Seed Biotechnology Center in July 2015 to lead the seed industry funded Collaboration for the Identification of Plant Pathogen Strains (CPPSI). She brings 25 years of experience in disease resistance discovery and development, research leadership, product discovery and development in the Agricultural Sciences. Phyllis received her MS and PhD in Plant Pathology from the University of Arizona. After a 3 year USDA/ARS Post Doc researching WSBMV in hard red winter wheat at the University of Illinois, Phyllis joined the Asgrow (later Seminis, Monsanto) Vegetable Seed Company as a research pathologist. She established and led a program to identify and develop resistance in vegetables to viral pathogens, eventually leading the global pathology team of 64 scientists and staff as Director of Research Pathology. While at Marrone Bio Innovations, Phyllis held personnel and product management roles in the discovery and development of plant and microbe based biopesticides.

Program Representative, Rebeca Madrigal


Plant Reproductive Biology, Room 1112
530-752-5775 Office phone
530-752-2278 Fax 


Rebeca joined the Seed Biotechnology Center in April 2015.  Her background includes providing program and analytical support  to identify potential research collaborators and developing relationships with industry for the UC Davis Office of Research, InnovationAccess.  As Program Representative, she is responsible for the oversight of various educational programs, meetings, events, conferences, marketing materials, website and the development of programs.

Program Manager, Kelsey Maher


Plant Reproductive Biology, Room 1101
530-754-7333 Office phone
530-752-2278 Fax


Kelsey is a Program Manager for the Seed Biotechnology Center. She received her B.A.'s in European Studies and Russian Studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. After living in Central Asia and the Caucasus she returned to the U.S. to obtain her M.A. in International Education Management from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey. With a background in managing professional diplomacy programs and overseeing agricultural associations, Kelsey brings a wealth of experiences and knowledge to the team. Currently, Kelsey also serves on the Slow Food California Board.

Program Representative, Joy Patterson


Plant Reproductive Biology, Room 1112
530-752-4414 Office phone
530-752-2278 Fax 


Joy is the coordinator of the Plant Breeding Academy. She comes to the Seed Biotechnology Center from the UC Davis Med Center where she was a resident coordinator for the otolaryngology department. She considers her students, as she did her medical residents, to be members of her extended family. Joy, her husband Dan, and their two children all attended Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. With her background in agriculture, the Master Gardener program, and event planning, Joy brings a unique perspective to the PBA program. Students come from both the United States and abroad with diverse cultural backgrounds. Joy helps them navigate through the requirements of the program as well as helping them get the most out of their visits to Davis.

Program Manager, Julie Tillman

Julie Tillman

Plant Reproductive Biology, Room 1112
530-752-4733 Office phone
530-752-2278 Fax



Julie brings to the SBC a diverse professional background encompassing both biological science research and computer/design technology. After receiving a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Nevada and postdoctoral positions at the Universities of Nevada and Minnesota, she pursued a long-held interest in web technology. In 2002 she launched web site design and management sole proprietorship TillSey Web Design, where she developed and managed web sites for clients throughout northern California. Since joining the SBC in the spring of 2015, she has provided the center with general computer and technology support, including graphic/print design, web site management, videography, and photography. She also assists center staff with event, course, and conference coordination and management.


Research Director, Allen E. Van Deynze


Plant Reproductive Biology, Room 1103
530-754-6444 Office phone
530-752-2278 Fax

Van Deynze Research Team


Allen has a Ph.D in plant breeding from University of Guelph, Canada. As part of the SBC’s mission to serve as a liaison between public institutions and seed industry, Allen is responsible for developing, coordinating and conducting research and generating and disseminating scientific and informational content for the Seed Biotechnology Center’s and Plant Breeding Center’s educational and outreach programs. His research focuses on developing and integrating genomics into plant breeding of California crops. He has programs on breeding for disease resistance and quality in pepper and spinach, and development and application of genomics in crops. With Dr. Kent Bradford he co-developed and is organizer for the Plant Breeding Academysm and past chair of the US Plant Breeding Coordinating Committee.  He has been involved in International and National policy including US Regulations for Biotechnology. He is an instructor for the African Plant Breeding Academy and scientific co-leader for the African Orphan Crops Consortium.


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