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Benchmark grows reproductive tech R&D team

August 8, 2023  By  Nestor Arellano

The Reproductive Technologies Team and Collaborators. Pictured from Left to Right: Stefan Eggertsson (Benchmark), Irfan Ahmad Bhat (University of Iceland), Milena Dubiel (University of Iceland), Ólafur Kristjánsson (Benchmark), Nahal Eskafi, Eduardo Rodriguez (Benchmark), Zhiqiang Zeng (Benchmark), Diego Crespo (Benchmark), Ross Houston (Benchmark), and Emma Walker (IP Pragmatics). (Image: Benchmark Genetics)

Benchmark Genetics announced three new research and development (R&D) staff to form a reproductive technology team.

The company says the new team is tasked to ensure that Benchmark remains at the forefront of bringing breakthroughs in sterility and gene editing for the aquaculture market.

“These will lead to future salmon products with enhanced performance and health, such as genetic resistance to diseases and preventing precocious maturation in farmed production,” a press release from Benchmark said.


The most recent recruit was Dr. Diego Crespo from the Institute of Marine Research (IMR) in Bergen, Norway.

Crespo joined benchmark ion Aug. 1, 2023. He has more than 15  years of experience in fish reproduction and biotechnology, including CRISPR gene editing targeting sterility.

Crespo will maintain strong links with IMR in joint projects, supporting a major collaboration between the two organizations in this field. This includes his work on a project called “Accelerated genetic improvement of key traits in farmed Atlantic salmon via transplantation of in vitro propagated germline stem cells”. The project is being funded by the Norwegian Research Council.

Before recruiting Crespo, Benchmark also added Dr. Zhiqiang Zeng and Stefan Eggertsson to the team.

Zeng brings over 20 years of experience of in developmental biology, transgenics, and gene editing.

Eggertsson is a recent Master’s graduate with expertise in molecular biology and gene editing in model organisms.

The team will be headquartered in the company’s research facilities in Reykjavík, Iceland, under the leadership of Dr. Eduardo Rodriguez.

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