Dr. Hamilton joined Ceres in 1998. He served as our Chief Financial Officer until September 2002, at which time he was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer. He has served on our board of directors since 2002. In addition to his leadership role at Ceres, Dr. Hamilton sits on the Keck Graduate Institute Advisory Council and was a founding member of the Council for Sustainable Biomass Production. Dr. Hamilton has previously served on the U.S. Department of Energy's Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee and has been active in the Biotechnology Industry Organization where he has served as Vice Chairman of the organization, chaired its Food and Agriculture Governing Board and served in other leadership roles. From 1992 to 1997, Dr. Hamilton was a principal at Oxford Bioscience Partners, one of the leading investors in the genomics field and a founder of Ceres. From 1990 to 1991, he was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Fellow at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Hamilton holds a Ph.D. in molecular biology from Vanderbilt University. Dr. Hamilton brings extensive management experience and industry expertise to our board of directors.
Ms. van Assche joined Ceres in 2000. She has more than 25 years of legal experience in the plant biotechnology and seed industry. From 1996 until 2000, Ms. van Assche was the General Counsel of the plant biotechnology and seed divisions of Hoechst Schering AgrEvo GmbH and following the merger of Hoechst and Rhone Poulenc, of the same divisions of Aventis, a leading life sciences company that is now part of Bayer AG. Previously, she was the General Counsel of Plant Genetic Systems N.V. from 1988 until its acquisition by Hoechst Schering AgrEvo GmbH in 1996. Shebegan her career with the law firm De Bandt van Hecke (now Linklaters) in Belgium from 1979 until 1982, and was counsel in the legal department of GTE Atea (now Siemens), a telecommunications company, from 1982 until 1988. Ms. van Assche holds a law degree from the University of Leuven and a postgraduate degree from the College of Europe. She is a member of the State Bar of California.