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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Dr Keerti Rathore and Dr David Fang named 2024 ICAC researchers of the year

The International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) is pleased to announce that two scientists have been named ICAC Researchers of the Year, according to Dr Keshav Kranthi, Chief Scientist of the ICAC (and a winner of the award himself in 2009): Dr. Keerti Rathore, Professor of Plant Biotechnology at Texas A&M University; and Dr. David Fang, Supervisory Research Geneticist and Research Leader of the Cotton Fiber Bioscience & Utilization Research Unit at USDA-ARS in New Orleans.
ICAC honors a leading cotton researcher (or two) each year by awarding a certificate of recognition, a shield, and an honorarium of $1,000. Drs Rathore and Fang were selected by an independent panel of seven eminent experts from seven different countries.
“With so many world-class cotton scientists from all over the world applying for the ICAC Researcher of the Year award, it’s always a difficult challenge to decide which one deserves it,” Dr Kranthi said after the announcement was made. “But some years, the contenders are so deeply qualified that we have to present the award to two individuals — and that is the case in 2024 with Dr Fang and Dr Rathore. They both deserve this recognition.”

Dr Keerti S Rathore:
Earned his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in India, followed by a PhD from Imperial College, London. Although his PhD research and early postdoctoral work were in basic sciences (electrophysiology), he transitioned to applied sciences, learning crop biotechnology at Purdue University.

Conceived and developed the Ultra-low Gossypol Cottonseed (ULGCS) trait and obtained deregulation and food/feed-use approval for the event TAM66274 in the USA — a rare feat for a public institution scientist.

Is dedicated to the global adoption of ULGCS for humanitarian use, envisioning that one day ULGCS will be as valuable as an alternative protein source as fiber is to textiles.

To read more, click here.

Dr David Fang:
Has published 122 journal papers and edited two cotton books. His research has been cited 7,720 times, and his h-index is 47, according to Google Scholar. 

Leads a team studying cotton fiber biology using biochemical, genetic, molecular, and genomic methods and technologies. His personal research focuses on mapping important qualitative and quantitative traits of cotton using DNA markers and implementing them in breeding.

Was the first cotton researcher to use a MAGIC population to identify genes and genetic loci that control fiber quality traits. Dr Fang also uses various mutants to study fiber development, particularly fiber elongation and maturation.

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