Andy Pereira is a professor at Biocomplexity Institute of Virginia Tech. He received his Ph.D. in 1986 from Iowa State University, where he completed research work in collaboration with the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) für Züchtungsforschung in Cologne, Germany. This research led to the molecular isolation of the maize transposon Enhancer (Suppressor-Mutator); the molecular characterization and development of this transposon to be used in the isolation of many maize genes. Following post-doctoral work at MPI, he served as a staff scientist with the Dutch Ministry for Agriculture and Fisheries at Wageningen in The Netherlands, working on the development of maize transposons as tools for tagging genes in heterologous plants like Arabidopsis, potato and rice. He worked at Wageningen for 17 years as a group leader in various positions and institutes, serving most recently at the Plant Research International within the Wageningen University and Research Centre. During his research career he has obtained a number of awards including the 'Otto Hahn Medal' from the Max-Planck Society for Excellent Young Scientist and an 'Excellent Scientist' Award from the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture for the period 1999-2005. He has coordinated a number of international projects on the functional genomics of rice and Arabidopsis, which were funded by the European Union and the Generation Challenge program.