Dr. Eleblu holds a PhD degree in Plant Biology at the University of Paris Sud 11 (now Paris Saclay), Orsay in France. He was trained as an Agriculturist at the undergraduate level with specialization in Crop Science at the University of Ghana. At the post-graduate level, he specialized in Genetics and Breeding at the University of Ghana. He won the African Scientist Award and served as a Visiting Research Scientist under the African Research Fellowship of the Institute for Genomic Diversity (IGD), Cornell University, USA where he managed a research project on the genetic contributions of PINNOID genes in Maize plant and kernel architecture development (2007 – 2008). In 2014, After Dr. Eleblu was awarded the PhD in France, he worked as a post-doctoral scientist in the lab of his PhD supervisor, Dr. Abdelhafid Bendahmane. His post-doctoral studies involved analysis of gene expression to understand the molecular basis of parthenocarpy (seedlessness) in tomatoes at the famous Crop Genomics laboratory (located at INRA, URGV in France). His current research interests are in the genetic improvement of legumes and cucurbits for food and nutrition security in Africa. In February 2015, John was appointed a Lecturer at the Biotechnology Centre, University of Ghana and he also serves as the Coordinator of Research Programmes, Francophone Africa for WACCI. He has won four outstanding grants/fellowships [USDA Norman Borlaug Fellowship, Alcorn State University, 2016; French Government Scholarships, France 2009; University of Ghana Faculty Development Grant, 2009; African Scientist Fellowship Programme, Cornell University (IGD) 2007]. He was a participant and alumni of the prestigious University of California DAVIS Africa Plant Breeding Academy Class IV Sessions 1, 2 and 3 at ICRAF Headquarters, (2018/2019) Nairobi - Kenya, Sponsored by: MARS Inc. He has requisite teaching and research expertise in plant functional genomics, molecular biology and breeding.
Dr. Eleblu serves as Co-Principal Investigator for the US $ 1 million African Union – European Union sponsored project at the WACCI. The project allows WACCI to work with government and industry partners on Crop and Soil Health Improvement for sustainable Agricultural Intensification towards Economic Transformation in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) for 3 years to in order address issues relating to food and nutrition security objectives of the AU, under its Competitive Research Grant Scheme supported by the European Union. Under this project Dr. Eleblu also doubles as the lead on the establishment of Next Generation Sequencing platform as well as the set-up of a reverse and forward genetics platforms for using Cowpea as proof of concept. Under WACCI’s collaborative project with the National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB), United Kingdom: 2017 ALBORADA project RB86330 “Establishment of tissue culture and genetic transformation for scalable cowpea improvement in sub-Saharan Africa”, Dr. Eleblu serves as the local project Lead with oversight from the Director. Under Dr. Eleblu’s leadership, a pipeline for implementing reliable and reproducible tissue culture in Ghanaian cowpea accessions at NIAB and at WACCI have been established in partnership with Dr. Alison Bentley. This allows for the production of whole cowpea plants from shoot tips, cotyledonary (embryonic seed leaf) nodes, radicles and leaf explants isolated from 4-day-old germinated seeds.
Dr. Eleblu serves also as the lead on the Cowpea and Soybean projects at the Centre. He has evaluated genotypes of soybean he collected from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) genebank through collaborations with Dr. Brian Diers of the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, USA. He serves on the Centre Management Committee Meetings and Admissions, Finance and Procurement Committees of the Centre. He is the coordinator for WACCI – MIT Global Startup Labs for the development of young entrepreneurs at the Kofi Annan Enterprise Hub for Agricultural Innovation at WACCI. He teaches, mentors and develops the next generation on scientists in Africa for Africa. He has supervised 8 PhD students who have successfully graduated as of 2019 and he is playing a vital role on the thesis committee of several PhD students. He has 14 scientific publications in international peer-reviewed journals as of September 2020.
- University of Ghana, 2001-2005
Awards and Honors
- 2016: USDA Norman Borlaug Fellowship, Alcorn State University
- 2009: French Government Scholarships, France
- 2009: University of Ghana Faculty Development Grant
- 2007: African Scientist Fellowship Programme, Cornell University (IGD)
- 2015-date Lecturer and Researcher, Biotechnology Centre, University of Ghana
- 2014-date Associate Faculty and Coordinator, Research Programmes, Francophone Africa, WACCI, University of Ghana
- 2016 Visiting Scholar, Alcorn State University, USA
- 2014-2015 Visiting Scientist, West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI), University of Ghana
- 2014 Post-doctoral Study, INRA URGV, Evry, France
- 2009-2013 PhD research fellow, University of Paris South, Orsay
- 2009-2013 Ingénieur d'études (Engineer) Functional Genomics Lab, INRA URGV, Evry, France
- 2008-2009 Graduate Assistant, Biotechnology Centre, University of Ghana
- 2007-2008 Visiting Research Scientist under the African Research Fellowship of the Institute for Genomic Diversity (IGD), Cornell University
- 2005-2006 Teaching/Research Assistant for the Crop Science Department, University of Ghana
Conferences, Workshops & Meetings
- 2019 Participant and Alumni, University of California DAVIS Africa Plant Breeding Academy Class IV Sessions 1, 2 and 3 at ICRAF Headquarters, Nairobi - Kenya, Sponsored by: MARS Inc
- 2019 Host and Moderator, Cowpea Value Chain Workshop on “Shaping the Future of Cowpea Value Chain Development in Ghana”, Sponsored by African Union in partnership with the European Union
- 2019 Participant and Organizing Committee Member, The Launch of the African Plant Breeders Association and Maiden International Conference at WACCI, University of Ghana
- 2019 Coordinator, WACCI-MIT Global Start Up Labs 5-week Agricultural Entrepreneurship Training programme
- 2019 Participant, Ghana Groundnut Working Group First Annual Meeting, Developing Partnerships to Create Greater Value of Groundnut through Innovation, Tamale, Ghana
- 2019 Participant, Peanut Innovation Lab Project Launch 2019 Workshop
- 2019 Participant, Exploratory Visit to Collaborator at Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) In Alnarp, Sweden
- 2019 Host and Moderator, Cowpea Value Chain Workshop on “Sustainable Intensification of Cowpea Production and Value Chain Development”, Sponsored by African Union in partnership with the European Union
- 2019 Participant, Value Chain Workshop on “Private – Public Partnerships for the Sustainable Intensification of Maize Production for the Crops’ Value Chain”, Sponsored by African Union in partnership with the European Union
- 2018 Participant, African Plant Breeding Academy IV – “A programme that trains practicing African Plant Breeders in Advanced Theory and Technologies to Speed Development of Improved Varieties for Farmers”
- 2018 Participant and Organizing Committee Member, WACCI International Conference on Food and Nutrition Security in Africa at the WACCI, University of Ghana
- 2018 Participant, 2018 Southern Soybean Breeders Tour, University of Georgia,
- 2018 Participant, The 17th Biennial Conference on the Molecular and Cellular Biology of the Soybean, University of Georgia, USA
- 2018 Instructor/Expert, USAID Feed the Future Biotechnology Awareness Creation among farmers, opinion leaders, Chiefs, extension agents and policy makers in Lawra, Walewale and Bawku Districts in the north of Ghana
- 2018 Participant, Agricultural African Centres of Excellence (AgACE) Workshop, Centre for Dryland Agriculture (CDA), Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria
- 2018 Participant, Introduction to Systems Dynamics Simulation Models and Games at Université Mohammed VI Polytechnic (UM6P) Campus, Benguerir, Morroco
- 2017 Participant, Launch of BiomassNet platform at Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA)
- 2017 Participants, Biotechnology Training of Trainers Programme, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA
- 2017 Coordinator and Instructor, WACCI Food Security Summer Training programme for students from Monmouth College, USA
- 2017 Rapporteur, WACCI 10th Anniversary Celebration Launch and Symposium
- 2017 Participant, Joint Training for Agricultural Africa Centres of Excellence (ACEs) at Centre for Food Technology and Research (CEFTER), Benue State University, Makurdi, Nigeria
- 2017 Participant, Golden Gate DNA Assembly for Crop Engineering held at West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI), University of Ghana in Partnership with Crop Engineering Consortium (CEC) of the Engineering the Nitrogen Symbiosis for Africa (ENSA) Sponsored by the BBSRC and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
- 2015 Panelist and Discussant, DAAD Alumni Conference on “How Can Science End Hunger in the World?”
- 2015 Participant, 3rd Plant Genomics Congress, Crowne Plaza Hotel, St. Louis, USA
- 2015 Rapporteur General and Resource Person, Workshop for Agricultural Education Front Runners in West Africa: Africa Centres of Excellence (ACEs) Learning Experience at WACCI
- 2015 Panelist and Discussant, International Biosafety Short Course for Policy and Decision Makers in Ghana and Nigeria
- 2015 Participant and Rapporteur, Tomato Value Chain workshop organized by West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI) in collaboration with the Alliance for Agricultural R&D for Food Security made up of the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA), the Australian International Food Security Research Centre (AIFSRC/ACIAR), Crawford Fund (CF) and the University of Queensland (UQ)
- 2015 Participant and Rapporteur, General of a three-day workshop organized by the West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI), University of Ghana at Volta Hotel, Akosombo, Ghana on the theme “Transforming WACCI into a sustainable Centre of Excellence for Training Plant Breeders and Seed Scientists for the future of food security in Africa”
- 2009 Participant, 2nd PLANTnet Paris Symposium on “Plant Genomes to Sustainable Agriculture” Versailles, France
- 2007 Resource person and Participant, Marker Assisted Selection Training Workshop on “the Use of Molecular Markers for Characterization of Genetic Resources” conducted at the Biotechnology Centre, University of Ghana, Legon in conjunction with the Institute for Genomic Diversity Cornell University, USA and funded by Kirkhouse Trust
- 2006 Presenter and Discussant, Public awareness and experience sharing workshop on “Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Who benefits?” organized by Friends of the Earth Ghana/Nigeria, Monarch Hotel, Ghana
- 2019 Talk: 2nd African Scientific, Research and Innovation Council Congress, Abuja, Nigeria
- 2018 Talk: OCP UM6P Climate Smart Agriculture Workshop - Ghanaian agriculture: strength and issues.
- 2017 Poster: DAAD Regional Conference in Bonn, Germany - In-Country/In-Region Network Conference with Partner Institutions in Sub Saharan Africa.
- 2016 Talk: Biorisks – a generic risk assessment framework for organisms at the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) Annual meeting in San Diego, USA.
- 2013 Talk: French PhD Students Retreat in Paris, France - Functional Characterization of CmWIP1 gene in the sex determination pathway of Cucumis melo Using Arabidopsis thaliana as a Model System.
- 2012 Poster: EMBO Conference in Plant sciences in Matera, Italy - Functional Characterization of CmWIP1 gene in the sex determination pathway of Cucumis melo Using Arabidopsis thaliana as a Model System.
- 2010 Poster: 2nd joint retreat of PhD. Students in Plant Sciences in Cologne, Germany - Functional Characterization of CmWIP1 gene in the sex determination pathway of Cucumis melo Using Arabidopsis thaliana as a Model System.
- 2007 Resource person and Presented of GMOs and Biotechnology at 3rd ECOWAS Ministerial Conference on Biotechnology on “Adoption of the 2006 - 2010 action plan for meeting challenges of Biotechnology and Biosafety”, La Palm Royal Beach Hotel, Ghana
Membership Of Boards/Committees/Associations/University Service
- Member, WACCI Finance Committee
- Member, WACCI Procurement Committee
- Member, WACCI Admissions Committee
- Member, WACCI Management Committee
- Member, WACCI Research Supervision Committee
- Member, Ghana Science Association
- Member, American Association for the Advancement of Science
- Member, Cornell Alliance for Science
- Member, Young Professionals for Agricultural Development (YPARD)
- Member/Ex-President, Federation for Young Farmers Ghana
- Reviewer, Journal of the Ghana Science Association
- Reviewer, The Crop Journal