Vicki VanceDr. Vicki Vance is a Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC. She received her Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis in 1983, working on mechanisms of plant viral replication with Dr. Roger Beachy. Her post-doctoral research focused on maize lipid body protein gene regulation and protein structure with Dr. Anthony Huang at the University of South Carolina. Dr. Vance remained in the Department of Biological Sciences at USC after Dr. Huang’s move to UC Riverside in 1988, serving as a Research Assistant Professor for one year, then moving through the ranks as tenure track faculty member and serving as the Wade T. Batson Jr. Professor of Botany since 2003. Dr. Vance has maintained an active research program over the years with continuous funding from federal granting programs including NSF, the USDA Competitive Grant Program and NIH. Over the years, the research in the Vance lab has centered on understanding the molecular basis of RNA silencing and plant viral suppression of silencing, as well as other small regulatory RNA pathways. Our current research focus is to establish the feasibility of using edible plants as biofactories to produce therapeutic miRNAs for delivery via ingestion. Once the effectiveness of this strategy has been established in an animal model, it can be developed for potential applications in humans, leading to the exciting possibility that ingestion of therapeutic miRNAs from genetically modified plants could become a widespread chemopreventive strategy.