Helene Lucas [Helene Lucas]
- Institution: INRA
- Position: Science Administrator
- Country: France
- Email: Helene.Lucas@versailles.inra.fr
- Join date: 04 Jun 2012
Hélène Lucas' PhD on Triticineae relationships, obtained in Rennes in 1987, was based on the analysis of interspecific hybrids using cytogenetic tools, but lead her to tackle the developing molecular approaches.During a post-doc at the Plant Breeding Institute in Cambridge (UK) she contributed to the elucidation of the structure of Wis2-1A, the first isolated wheat LTR-retrotransposon, and to the study of its distribution in wheats.She established a cereal molecular genetics lab at INRA Clermont-Ferrand in the early 1990s.From 1992-2005 her group at INRA Versailles studied the transposition cycle, regulation and impact of retrotransposons on genome structure and evolution, using as a model system the tobacco Tnt1 retrotransposon introduced into Arabidopsis thaliana. She deciphered several steps of Tnt1 replication cycle and showed that it could be used as a gene-tagging tool in heterologous hosts. She also demonstrated that, when present in multiple copies in Arabidopsis, Tnt1 amplification was controlled by a reversible epigenetic regulation.
Hélène Lucas has been the Scientific Coordinator of the International Research Initiative for Wheat Improvement since June 2011 when the G20 member states endorsed the proposal to create the initiative. She coordinated the submission of the proposal to the G20 agricultural ministers.
Since September 2011, she also chairs the Managing Board of the French “Green Biotech” Public-Private Partnership Scientific Group.
From 2005 to 2011 Hélène Lucas was Head of the Genetics and Plant Breeding Division of the French National Institute for Agricultural Research INRA where she managed 20 research units and 15 experimental stations across France, with an emphasis on the internationalization of research.
In parallel, Hélène Lucas has been a member of the European Plant Science Organisation Board (2003-2006), the Scientific Council of Genoplante (2005-2010), the Scientific Council of the CTPS (French Permanent Technical Committee for Plant Breeding, 2005-2011) and the Scientific Council of Arvalis (2007-2011).