Silvia Restrepo

  • Silvia RestrepoDr Silvia Restrepo has worked in Plant Pathology for the last 20 years. Her main concern has been to conduct research with a social relevance for Colombia and other developing countries. Her work researching the most important causal agents of diseases in cassava and potatoes is an excellent example.

    According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, it is estimated that more than 500 million people depend on cassava for food globally. The cassava bacterial blight caused by Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. manihotis (Xam) can cause 100% loss of young crops under the right the environmental conditions. Dr Restrepo’s intense study of the bacterial blight has provided a great deal of information on the disease, the resistance in cassava, and disease management strategies. Nonetheless, her efforts on fighting the disease are far from over.

    Currently, she is involved in new projects to monitor Xam bacterial populations, sequence its genome, and develop new control strategies. Her scientific cooperation with the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD) is still active through the ECOS NORD – Colciencias programme, and also through establishing of an exchange programme for students and researchers between Universidad de los Andes and IRD.

    Dr Restrepo received her PhD at University of the Sciences Pierre and Marie Currie, Paris VI, Paris, France.