Dr. Igor Kovalchuk
Igor Kovalchuk is a Professor and Board of Governors Research Chair in Epigenetics at the University of Lethbridge (Lethbridge, Alberta, CANADA). He is an expert in in plant biotechnology, with focus on medicinal plants such as cannabis and poppy, breeding, epigenetics, epigenomics, bioinformatics, genetic engineering and next generation sequencing (NGS) applications. Igor has obtained his MD in 1996 from Ivano-Frankivsk State Medical Academy (Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine), with specialization in obstetrics and gynecology. He has defended his PhD on molecular biology of breast cancer in 1998. Since 2001, Dr. Igor Kovalchuk leads his own research group, working in various areas of plant biotechnology and genetic engineering. He has published over 150 peer-reviewed articles, numerous books and abstracts and obtained 10 patents.
Igor started his first company Plantbiosis Ltd. in 2010 – the company is a provider of NGS and plant biotechnology applications. He was instrumental in breeding a special variety of medicinal poppy – thebaine poppy for which he has received an ASTech (The Alberta Science and Technology Leadership) Award for the Innovation in Agricultural Sciences.
In 2015, Igor together with his business partner Dr. Darryl Hudson has started two other companies, InPlanta Biotechnology and Pathway Rx focusing on cannabis breeding and personalized medical cannabis approach, respectively. Since that time, InPlanta Biotechnology became a leader in breeding cannabis, creating hundreds of new cannabis hybrids and developed multiple innovative techniques for genomics-assisted cannabis breeding. InPlanta holds hemp breeding license and is currently registering several new hemp varieties. InPlanta is also a late stage LP applicant.