He received a first class honors degree in Chemistry (University of London) followed by a PhD in plant biochemistry (UCL, London) in 1980. Following postdoctoral research at UCL, he joined one of the very first plant biotechnology companies, Cetus Madison Corp (subsequently Agracetus, Inc.) Madison Wisconsin, USA. He led a research group which achieved the first genetically transformed staple crop (soybean). Subsequently his team developed a variety-independent gene transfer method for rice. These two achievements had a significant impact, as the first transgenic soybean on the US and global markets sold by Monsanto was a direct output of his group’s research efforts.