IRRI Team

IRRI  (Philippines)


Tobias Kretzschmar – PI, Scientist I-Molecular Biology 

Tobias received a PhD in Molecular Plant Physiology from the University of Zurich, Switzerland, in 2009. After joining IRRI in 2011 he was involved in Gene Discovery work for abiotic stress tolerance, before taking over as Head of GSL in 2015. His areas of expertise include molecular biology, molecular genetics and functional genomics


Nicholai Alexandrov – Senior Scientist-Bioinformatics

He got his PhD in Computational Molecular Biology at the Institute of Genetics of Microorganisms in Moscow. He developed new methods for protein structure comparison and prediction during his postdoctoral terms in Kyoto University and at NCI/NIH in Maryland. He worked as a Computational Scientist at Amgen, California and then lead a bioinformatics group at Ceres, Inc. Nickolai joined IRRI in 2013.


Viana Carla C. Calaminos – Specialist in Information Systems

She has been working at IRRI since she graduated from the University of the Philippines Los Banos on 2013 with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. She is currently a developer for breeding rice.


Jeffrey Detras – Specialist in Bioinformatics

He has a degree of M.Sc. in Genetics from the University of the Philippines Los Banos. He is involved in the development of the rice trait dictionary of Crop Ontology, data curation of IRRI databases, and bioinformatics support and training for IRRI staff.


Juan Carlos Ignacio – Assistant Scientist-Genetics and Genomics

He is an assistant scientist for genetics and genomics. Prior to GOBII, he worked on flood tolerance research in rice. His technical expertise includes sequencing-based genotyping, MAS, MABC, QTL mapping and molecular marker design. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and currently is working on an MS program for Genetics (minor in Computer Science) at the University of the Philippines Los Baños


Venice Margarette Juanillas Developer

She is a specialist in information systems and in 2012 graduated from the University of the Philippines-Los Banos (UPLB) with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. She’s also working on optimizing pipelines for analysis of Genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) data and developing tools in IRRI Galaxy.


George KotchHead, Plant Breeding Division

As the Head of Plant Breeding, George spearheads the development of innovation and innovative products at IRRI while designing and leading its R&D processes.

He has over 20 years of experience in Research Management built on a successful vegetable breeding career, including as the Head of Vegetable Research at Syngenta, Regional Vice President of R&D for HM.Clause (Limagrain) and R&D Director at Seminis. He also spent time in academia as a visiting industry scientist at University of California, Davis and North Carolina State. Just prior to joining IRRI, George was the President and Founder of a consulting firm specializing in developing Agri-Business companies and technology assessments.


Ramil Mauleon – co-PI ,  Senior Scientist -Bioinformatics 

He got his PhD (Genetics, minor in Computer Science) in 2006 from the University of Philippines, Los Banos. His dissertation was transcriptome profiling of mutant rice lines in a collaboration with IRRI and the National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences (now National Agriculture and Food Research Organization) in Tsukuba, Japan. His post-doctoral work at the Generation Challenge Program Bioinformatics subprogram focused on transcriptomics and bioinformatics analyses for candidate gene discovery. Currently he works with the International Rice Informatics  Consortium, the 3,000 Rice Genomes project. His research interests include creating re-usable analysis workflows for high throughput datasets with high computing demand, and in-silico identification of  candidate gene(s) causal to important traits in rice through analyses of heterogeneous datasets (ie. gene/genome sequences and variations, gene interaction network inferences, and meta-analyses of published QTLs).


Angel Manica Raquel Developer

She is a specialist in Information Systems at the International Rice Research Institute. She graduated from the University of the Philippines in Los Banos with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. Currently she is working on the development of the Loader UI and the Web Services for the GOBII project.