Dr Francois Laurens received his PhD thesis at The University of Rennes in 1992 working on “the genetic determinism of resistance to clubroot in Brassicae”. For the last 23 years, he has been working at INRA Angers (France) as a geneticist and a breeder in charge of many and diverse missions: French fruit varietal testing network, apple and pear breeding programmes, apple germplasm management, and fruit quality genetics studies.
He is currently the Deputy Director of The Institute of Research on Horticulture and Seeds, a large laboratory of 230 members, developing research projects dealing with the quality and health of horticultural crops. He is in charge of the animation of the «pome-fruits and legumes» group and coordinator of the activities developed on Fruit Quality (Genetics, Genomics, Ecophysiology). He is the leader of the apple and pear breeding programs. At the French level, he is the co-leader of the INRA Fruit genetics and breeding group including pome and stone fruits. He is also the co-leader of GIS Fruit, a scientific interest group which draws together 22 French partners involved in research, training and professional organization in the fruit sector.
From 2004 to 2007, he has been the President of the Eucarpia Fruit Breeding and Genetics group. Since March 2011 he is the coordinator of the large collaborative European project FruitBreedomics which aims to improve the efficiency of apple and peach breeding programs by filling in the gap between basic research studies and applied breeding.