Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Best research papers recognized in young scientists meet

The winning papers and authors in the 2012 IRRI Young Scientists Conference were recognized in a ceremony held on 9 November 2012 at IRRI Havener Auditorium. V. Bruce J. Tolentino, deputy director general for communications and partnerships, presented the awards to:

Tobias Kretzschmar (Gene validation of a major QTL for tolerance of anaerobic conditions during germination), first place; Genelou Atienza (Ubiquitous resistance to rice tungro spherical virus is mediated by a gene for translation initiation factor 4G), second place; and Taznoore Samine Khanam (Impact of rice price hike on poverty in Bangladesh), third place.

Citations were also given to Ronald Tapia (Introduction of transport proteins into Oryza sativa L. to facilitate installation of the C4 pathway); Swati Kamal (Transformation of rice with C4 genes and characterization of the transgenic plants); and Yam Kanta Gaihre (Methane emission and rice yield as affected by elevated temperature, rice straw incorporation, and soil properties in lowland rice paddy soils).

Noel Magor, head of the IRRI Training Center, opened the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first scholar coming to IRRI. One of these first scholars was Reynaldo Lantin, who gave the keynote speech.

Dr. Magor spoke about the importance of nurturing relationships with IRRI's partners across the globe through its work with scholars. "We should appreciate not just the science, but also the development of people," he said.

India's minister of agriculture, Hon. Shri Ashish Bahuguna, who at that time was visiting IRRI, also graced the ceremony. He expressed hope for rice research's future.

"I always thought that young people are drifting away from science. But coming here, seeing how robust the presentations were, has given me hope," Minister Bahuguna said.

The 50th anniversary celebration and awarding ceremony was the culmination of the two-day IYSC, organized by the Association of Fellows, Scholars, Trainees, and Researchers in IRRI (AFSTRI).

Robert Zeigler, IRRI director general, had expressed enthusiasm and pride for the event, and said that IRRI's future rests on this new generation of scientists.

Likewise, Achim Dobermann, IRRI's head of research, said that IRRI needs to anticipate needs in the value chain decades from now.

"Behind the success of IYSC 2012 were four factors: a simple concept, enthusiastic team, support with encouragement from institution and massive participation," said Govinda Rizal, AFSTRI president.

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