1. ESRC Genomics Network (archive)
  2. Gengage
  3. The Human Genre Project

Egenis · People

Professor Steve Hughes

Egenis Co-Director


01392 725133


01392 263305 or 01392 724676






Byrne House, Streatham Campus, University of Exeter


Steve Hughes has 20 years experience as a research and innovation manager in the food, agriculture (plant breeding) and biotechnology industries in Italy and the UK and is cited as inventor on five biotechnology-related patents. Steve's current research project focuses on the impact of advanced genomics-based tools for agronomy, plant breeding and food production on local agricultural practices.

Some of Steve’s other appointments are/have been:

Director of Unilever’s International Agribusiness Applications Unit, and Director of Biotechnology for Plant Breeding International Cambridge, with a wider brief, linking agriculture with the food processing chain.

Unilever Industrial Research Professor, School of Biological Sciences, Exeter, and Visiting Professor of Biotechnology, West Virginia State College.

He has served on the BBSRC Agricultural Systems Directorate, the Advisory Committee on Genetic Manipulation, (HSE), the British Society of Plant Breeders Biotechnology Working Group, and various ad hoc advisory panels for EU Framework Programmes, OECD and FAO/IAEA joint programmes.

Director of (CAMBIA), and DEFRA appointee to the International Roster of Experts on the Cartegena Biosafety Protocol.

Appeared as an expert witness at the House of Lords and the New Zealand Royal Commission on GM.



Hughes, S.G., with Ryan A., Burke D., Gale M., Heap B., Leith P., Hill J., Lipton M. and Thomas S., Genetically Modified Crops: the Ethical and Social Issues, London: Nuffield Council on Bioethics, 1999.


Offei, S.K., Almekinders, C., Crane, T.A., Hughes, S. G., Mokuwa, A., Nuitjen, E., Okry, F., Struik, P.C., Teeken, B. and Richards, P., 'Making better seeds for African food security - a new approach to scientist-farmer partnerships', Aspects of Applied Biology, 96, 2010, pp. 141-148.

Richards P., de Bruin-Hoekzema M., Hughes S., Kudadjie-Freeman C. and Kwame Offei S., 'Seed Systems for African Food Security: linking molecular genetic analysis and cultivator knowledge in West Africa', International Journal of Technology Management, 45 (1/2), 2009, pp. 196-214.

Hughes, S.G., with Deibel, E., 'Plant Breeders Rights, Room for Maneuver?', Tailoring Biotechnologies, 2, 2007, pp. 77-86.

Hughes, S.G., 'The End of Disorder: a case of premature termination and PTC124', Tailoring Biotechnologies, vol 3, 2, 2007, pp. 41-48.

Hughes, S.G., 'Genomics and Crop Plant science in Europe', Plant Biotechnology Journal, 4, 2006, pp. 3-5.

Hughes, S.G., 'Navigating genomes: the space in which genes happen', Tailoring Biotechnologies, 1, 2005, pp. 35-46.

Hughes, S.G., with Bovey, A., de Vos, R., Kemper, M., Schijlen, E., Almenar Pertejo, M., Muir, S., Collins, G., 'High flavonol tomatoes Resulting from the Heterologous Expression of the Maize Transcription factor Genes LC and C1', C1 The Plant Cell, 14, 2002, pp. 2509-2526.

Hughes, S.G., with Thomas, M., Hart, P., Keirle, K., Schollar, J. and Griffiths, G. 'The Biotechnology Summer School: A Novel Teaching Initiative', Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 39, 2, 2002, pp. 124-136.

Hughes, S.G., with Thomas, M., Hart, P.M., Schollar, J., Kierle, K., and Griffith, G.W., 'Group project work in biotechnology and its impact on key skills', Journal of Biological Education, 35, 2001, pp. 133-141.

Hughes, S.G., with Muir, S.R., Collins, G.J., Robinson, S., Bovy, A., De Vos, R., and van Tunen, A.J., 'Overexpression of petunia chalcone isomerase in tomato results in fruit containing increased levels of flavonols', Nature Biotechnology, 19, 2001, pp. 470-474.

Hughes, S.G., with Thomas, S., 'Commercialisation', Journal of Commercial Biotechnology special issue on Bioethics, 6, 1999, pp. 146-153.

Chapters in books

Hughes, S.G., 'An Ambition for Symmetry Breaking', in Ramsenthaler, S., Transitaria, Kircaldy Museum and Art Gallery, 2009, pp. 24-29.

Hughes, S.G., 'GM Crops and Food: a scientific perspective', in Bryant, J.A. et al (ed), Bioethics for Scientists, Wiley and Sons, 2002.

Hughes, S.G., 'The Patenting of Genes for Agricultural Biotechnology', in Bryant, J.A. et al (ed), Bioethics for Scientists, Wiley and Sons, 2002.


Hughes, S., Review of Walker, G., Environmental justice: concepts, evidence and politics in Food Security, 4(2), 2012, pp 325-327

Hughes, S., Review of Hollowell, V.C., Smocovitis, V.B. and Duggan, E.P. (eds), G. Ledyard Stebbins: The Ladyslipper and I in Annals of Botany, 103 (1), 2009, pp vii-viii.

Conference Papers

Hughes, S., 'Performing in the Knowledge Economy: biological sciences and open innovation'. Conference: Reconsidering Intellectual Property Policies in Public Research, Wageningen, 11 April 2008.

Working papers

Genomics: An enduring mainstream of the social empowerment of bioscience

Knowledge Sharing Cultivating - Cultivating (PDF Format)Added: 15 February 2005

Genomics and Crop Plant Science in Europe (PDF Format)Added: 15 March 2005

Navigating genomes: the space in which genes happen (PDF Format)Added: 15 March 2005

That's What It's All About: Genomic Hokey-Cokey and asymmetry in divergent cellular developmental trajectories and body sidedness (PDF Format)Added: 31 October 2008

Ontological odyssey: a poem (PDF format)Added: 13 November 2008

Biofuels, micro or macro? (PDF format)Added: 12 March 2010