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Breaking Barriers in Plant Genetics: Dr. Renee Prins’ Journey to Founding CenGen

In the latest episode of the Lucentlands Podcast, we sit down with Dr. Renee Prins, founder of CenGen, a plant genetics platform based in the small town of Worcester, South Africa. Despite facing many challenges as a woman alone in the business world, Dr. Prins has created a successful enterprise that provides specialized R&D services to plant breeders and the agricultural industry.

Dr. Prins obtained her PhD in Genetics from Stellenbosch University and has a key interest in working with plant and pathogen species that are important to agriculture. Her passion for this field led her to establish CenGen in 2003, with the goal of creating a plant genetics platform and providing skilled personnel with the opportunity to continue their careers in science, despite being based far from major academic centers.

From a humble beginning as an owner-managed business, CenGen has developed into a fully-fledged enterprise that implements new strategic and business processes on a continuous basis, in order to be fit for the future in an environment of ongoing technology innovation. A primary focus at CenGen is to provide services on par with international standards, and to maintain strong links with international peers and collaborators.

In the podcast, Dr. Prins talks about the challenges she faced as a woman alone in the business world, especially in a small town like Worcester. She discusses how she overcame these challenges and managed to build a successful enterprise, providing skilled personnel with the opportunity to continue their careers in science.

Dr. Prins also talks about the exciting endeavors CenGen is currently undertaking, including an attempt to clone a number of wheat disease resistance genes in collaboration with an expert team at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia. Should the project be successful, this will be the first result of its kind in South Africa for wheat, which has a very complex genome.

Apart from the value of having the actual gene sequence, the knowledge transfer in advanced genomics approaches to South African scientists will be invaluable. Similarly, CenGen strives to establish a basic foundation of bioinformatics knowledge, and a sound understanding of how to implement bioinformatics tools in agri-research, within South Africa.

Dr. Prins’ journey to founding CenGen is truly inspiring and a testament to her passion for plant genetics and her determination to break barriers in the business world. We hope you enjoy this episode of the Lucentlands Podcast and find it as inspiring as we did.

Join us as we delve into the fascinating world of plant genetics and the inspiring journey of Dr. Renee Prins in founding CenGen.

Learn more about CenGen HERE:
Website: https://cengen.co.za/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/renee-prins-386a498/

Website: https://www.diplomics.org.za/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/diplomics/

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