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Ph.D. student in K-State plant pathology selected for international fellowship
Date:10/23/2009

Bhanu Kalia, a Kansas State University graduate student inspired by the work of Dr. Norman Borlaug is one of 12 people worldwide to receive a fellowship named for him. The Monsanto Beachell-Borlaug International Scholars Program honors the accomplishments of Dr. Henry Beachell and Dr. Norman Borlaug, who pioneered plant breeding and research in rice and wheat, respectively.

The Monsanto Beachell-Borlaug International Scholars Program fellowship will provide a full package of support for Kalia to pursue her Ph.D., which will include research on wheat breeding and enable her to find ways to increase food production in developing countries.

Kalia also is a graduate research assistant in plant pathology at K-State. Her research mentor is University Distinguished Professor Bikram S. Gill. She will collaborate with CIMMYT, a non profit organization that researches sustainable development of wheat and maize farming, and Punjab Agricultural University, which played a prominent role in ushering in the green revolution in India. A native of Ludhiana in Punjab and a citizen of India, she received an M.S. in genetics from Punjab Agricultural University.

"Norman Borlaug was the father of the green revolution in the 1960s, especially relating to the Indian subcontinent and Mexico where wheat production doubled and tripled. This work avoided famines that used to kill hundreds and thousands of people," Gill said. "It was Bhanu's wish to see Dr. Borlaug at the World Food Laureates meeting in Des Moines but he passed away a few weeks before. Attending the conference and meeting with world food laureates and other scientists was a deeply moving experience for Bhanu, a rare opportunity for a graduate student that will inspire her research."

"I thank my family and friends for their continuous support and encouragement," Kalia said. "I owe special thanks to my adviser, Dr. Bikram Gill, for having faith in me and always encouraging me.

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Contact: Bhanu Kalia
bkalia@k-state.edu
785-532-2347
Kansas State University
Source:Eurekalert

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